Human vs Machine Learning – for kids – Part II

Continue from my Part I post

Now it is turn to know, how a machine do similar things to act smart.

In contrast to what we discussed about human senses in previous post, I started asking my son, some basic computer questions like, “What acts like brain and input senses like we identified above for computer? “

He ran horses of his mind and said a word called “Sensors” which is used as input senses. This topic we also touched a bit in Part I. Now my curious question to my kid was “What is a Sensor ?”

My Kid’s definition of Sensor “It is a device which measures/detects, what you ask (program) it to.

That was impressive and near to what Sensor is in actual. I familiarize him little more with Sensors subject. I gave him below definition :

sensor is a device, that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a ‘signal’ which can be read by an observer or by an instrument. Like Thermometer

A good sensor obeys some rules, to be called a Sensor:

  • It do what it is configured for (measured property)
  • It ignores everything else (other property), encountered in it’s use

I want to explain types of sensors but it will be too much load at this time, so I kept that topic for future.

Now we have established that device called Sensor acts as senses to Computers. Now question is, what machine senses are human equivalents ?

I told him we are surrounded by different sensors in various devices in our home and if he can detect them and provide me some examples ?

He started thinking, I gave him some hints like “how computer can see us” and he identified “Camera”, which help computer to see.

Then we discussed about hearing, and talked about how computer or smart devices like Google Home / Alexa listen to us and he Identified “Mic”.

Next sense we talked about was “Smell”, it was quite challenging for him to guess, but then we talked with a hint “What happen in kitchen, when your mom makes his favorite Parantha or fried food items “, he said “After some time Nest start complaining about “Smoke in the Kitchen“, and he got the fact that it is a Smoke Sensor. 🙂

What next in sense’s identification, it is “Taste Senses”, this was also a bit difficult for him as it is not that straight forward. We talked about an example “Do you remember when your grandfather test his Blood Sugar every week, how he do it ?” and my kid explained “He take a pinch using needle to get drop of blood, then drop it over a strip and attach to machine, where it tells you some number.” I asked “So what it is ? :)”, his reply “Ooooo that strip and machine both taste and sense?” I said yes.

And will answer about that combo (Strip + machine) later in this discussion after finishing last sense.

So we are now left with one sense which is Touch sense and he jumped saying “I know this -my school Chromebook”, my response was “You got It :), another one is Touch lamps to do on/Off”.

example where floating sensor let computer know about water level

So now we concluded with what sensors are and how they map with Human senses.

Human Senses Computer / Machine Senses
Smellsmoke sensors, gas sensors (famous name Nest)
TasteBlood Diabetes monitor, soil pH monitor
Touchtouch laptop and phones, elevator touch sensor, lamp touch on/off
Human vs Computer senses

What next ? We have the input data using Sensors, What acts as brain?

My kid said “Computer’s motherboard chips”, it was very near and ok, as he was not aware of computer elements much in details.

I explained him with some examples, to clarify, how Computer’s so called chips (processor) act as a brain.

Sensors act as an Input, Computer Chips works as brain to calculate that data and identify results as per desired requirement and related coding, uses monitor to display output.

Image Courtesy : Google Image Search

We picked back example of that Blood Sugar meter, where Strip was a sensor and Machine was brain with specific program coded to read that data and give value. and My Kid’s response was “Oooooo, now I can relate”.

So mission accomplished for this Part II 🙂

In next and final part, we will be explaining, how Learning is done by computers and working on a Image Classification hands on project 🙂

Human vs Machine Learning – for kids – Part I

This weekend, I was reading some articles about Machine Learning and was trying some hands-on, which my 10 year old boy noticed and starting firing his curious questions. 🙂

His first few questions after looking the topic were “What is Machine Learning ? and how can machine learn as it is not alive ? “

And I started thinking how to make him understand this interesting topic in layman terms.

I thought to start with a collaborative comparison, between human and machine, to make him realize, what are basic differences between two and how Machine Learning help computers to be smart, in some limited use cases.

I asked him, “how we as human learn things, and he answered by reading, watching, touching and brain helps process that information.”

I stopped him and asked, “how do you know when you looked at some object first time, about it’s name, shape, color ? For example – if you looked at a car, how do you know, that it is a car, of model Odyssey and of white color?”

He took few seconds and said “I know that this is a car, and I can read it’s name and see it’s color”

I asked him again, to “think like he is looking at any kind of car first time and don’t know about cars as subject.”

and he said “it will be you or mom, will tell me that this is a Car, of white color and what it is used for.”

and I asked, what will happen when you see similar object again “I can say that this is a car”

He got the point, what I am trying to establish 🙂

I asked him to continue and name our senses, which work like input/output sensors to our brain. (We will touch sensors more in next part.)

He started naming them as below :

image courtesy: google image search

Till now we have established, that there are some senses which act like input for human’s brain, using which brain do some processing, but it also need some guidance to process that information to establish some facts.

Now it is turn to know, how a machine do similar things and act smart.

I will cover that part in Part II of this topic 🙂

I hope this will help your little ones to understand this complex subject and inspire them to research more in this direction 🙂

Will catch you soon in part II.