DIGITREK21 – Free Coding Workshop for Local Educators

Pablo Farias (ZENVA)

July 2, 2021 in Success Stories

With recent innovations in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) has left the realms of science fiction and is becoming increasingly important. Entire industries, such as health, smart cities, and eCommerce, are being reshaped and enhanced by the incorporation of AI into their core operations.

Is Australia prepared for this transition? According to the latest ACS Australian Digital Pulse report, prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, Australia will require an AI specialist workforce of between 32,000 and 161,000 by 2030. With only approximately 7,000 new domestic graduates in ICT careers every year, it is clear that training and upskilling our existing workforce must become one of the main pillars in meeting this expected demand.

To show our local community that we believe even basic AI and coding are not only fun to learn, but highly impactful regardless of your occupation, we ran a free interactive Intro to AI workshop which boasted over 90 registrations from local teachers, students, and other members of the wider community. This took place within the DIGITREK21 initiative, organized by TAFE Queensland and Southern Cross University, and funded by Study Gold Coast. DIGITREK21 was “specifically designed to help participants build skills across emerging digital industries such as cyber security, big data, gaming, mixed reality and much more“, according to TAFE Queensland General Manager, Ms. Dickinson.

Workshop Overview

Our workshop, which was facilitated by our CEO, Pablo Farias Navarro, showcased various AI demos using Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services as well as the Unity game engine. The session had three distinctive modules:

  1. Intro to AI. In this section, we went over what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is – as well as why it is important. We also talked about the distinction between AI and Machine Learning (ML), as well as the general alternatives available to incorporate AI into a solution: creating a model, training an existing model, and using AI as a Service tools.
  2. Intro to Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services. This module consisted of an overview of one of the most popular, cloud-based AI solutions. We ran a few demos and went over the capability of this platform, as well as the pros and cons compared with a self-hosted approach.
  3. Demos in Unity. The Zenva team put together a series of demos using the Unity engine, which included object detection, speech recognition, and OCR.
  4. Implementation overview. The last module of the training was more technical and consisted of an interactive Q&A for the members of the audience who had a more technical background. With the exception of this module, the entire workshop was suitable for people with no prior exposure to AI or coding.

Workshop Recording

Start learning the basics of AI and Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services today! You can watch the entire workshop below. Project files can be downloaded here.


Next Steps

Looking to learn how to build your own applications and games? Make sure to check out our Unlimited Access Plan here.

If you represent an organization looking to train your workforce or education community, you can complete an Expression of Interest form here.

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