Lesson 5 - Thinking Machines

Rate this resource

Even though the idea of creating intelligent artefacts can be traced in ancient myths, the single greatest step towards that vision becoming a reality was the invention of the computer. Less than a decade before the first electronic computers were built, Alan Turing “[proposed] to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?’”

Given the advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, especially in the last decade, a series of lessons on computing systems wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the field that has such potential to revolutionise our lives. 

In this lesson, learners will attempt to define the term ‘artificial intelligence’, and explore the kinds of problems that it has traditionally dealt with. They will also focus on machine learning and investigate its relationship with conventional programming. Learners will move on to use Google Teachable Machine, to gain an insight into what training a model involves, and the ethical considerations that are tied into building any system that makes decisions.

This lesson is the fifth in a six session teaching unit provided by the National Centre for Computing Education. 

These teaching resources are published under the Open Government License v 3.0

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Published by


Share this resource