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UAE: 7-year-old is youngest to do AI internship from Oxford

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on January 22, 2021 | Last updated on January 22, 2021 at 10.37 pm
Photo: Supplied

She has also finished a certification in coding with Google.


The UAE aims to become a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2031. And a seven-year-old schoolgirl from Abu Dhabi is already following the country's vision and mission.

Saanvi Chouraria has become the youngest kid to complete an internship in artificial intelligence at the University of Oxford. Separately, she has finished a certification in coding with Google.

The youngster's parents, Annu and Abhishek, wanted to inculcate digital skills in their daughter early on.

"Saanvi is a very logical-minded and inquisitive kid. We thought of introducing her to the world of AI as we knew that it would be among the most sought-after skills in future," Annu noted.

Last year, while the 'stay home' drive and e-learning arrangements offered enough free time, Saanvi was introduced to the world of computing, coding and AI. Keeping her dolls aside, she took to the new subjects like a duck to water.

"I find coding very interesting," said the Grade 2 student of Pearl Academy Abu Dhabi. "I love to explore AI. I use coding and AI to make several fun games to solve real problems and apply this to my school projects too."

Seeing her aptitude for learning about advanced tech, Saanvi's parents mulled ways to offer her a platform to study and grow further. They soon enrolled her in a virtual course with Clevered, based in Indian city of Noida, which mentored kids for certification courses from Google, IBM, University of Oxford etc.

In October, she was shortlisted for the six-week internship programme and Saanvi used it to develop a project for people of determination.

"AI can make a difference to the world, so I have built a Wikipedia-based project for people who can't type. They can just speak the word they want to search about and the AI engine works to give them the result," Saanvi said.

The little wonder bowled over her mentors at Clevered and the University of Oxford.

Shiksha Kohli, business head, Clevered, said: "Clevered associated with the University of Oxford to offer internship opportunities. Saanvi, our youngest student, got an opportunity. What amazed us even further was her project. The young champ could have chosen a game but she chose to make a difference for specially-abled people. She created 'Wikipedia for Special', which shows how much critical thinking and problem-solving skills she has honed while learning to code."

Ken Kahn, senior researcher at the University of Oxford, said: "In the last six months, we have had more than 55 students qualify for the internship programme. Saanvi, the youngest student ever to qualify for the programme, took me by surprise when she created Wikipedia for the disabled."

Barabara Heaton, principal, Pearl Academy, added: "We are super proud of Saanvi's achievements with the University of Oxford's internship programme. Impressive stuff on coding and AI. She has represented herself and her school in an exemplary manner."

Saanvi is on a journey to excel in the field of data science and both her parents are glad that, closer to home, they have the world's first graduate-level, research-based AI university - Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence. "Saanvi now has great options to scale new heights," they said.

author

Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.





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