Twenty groups at Penn State, 16, at University Park, were given grant money to bring their artificial intelligence projects to life.

Edward Amoah studies computer engineering at Penn State.

He says after growing up in another country, he was able to study at Penn State now because he can read and write in English, but not all students in developing countries have that same opportunity.

“I had the chance to grow up in the city, where I was able to read as young as six years old, and so just that little ability to have that basic thing as a child really puts you forward,” Edward Amoah, Penn State Student, said.

He says some students don’t become literate because of the forty to one student to teacher ratios.

Amoah and his partner for AI Nittany Challenge are working on a program called “nyansapo”. It means wisdom in Amoah’s native language.

They’re program will hopefully help teachers in developing countries test reading, comprehension and will help kids learn to read on a one on one basis.

“We need to optimize the natural language process to be able to understand different accents, more specifically accents of kids from a particular area, in this case, Kenya, and so we are going ot be using that ofr that process,” Amoah, said.

Innovations Strategist Brad Zdenek for Nittany A.I. Alliance, says twenty teams at Penn State were all given $500 to help them create their AI projects that will help real-world issues.
He says the competition was open to students in all majors.

“If you are in Fine Arts, if you’re in Graphic Design, if you are in business, if you are in Computer Science, if you’re in a traditional STEM field, if you’re in Philosphy and Linguistics,” Zdenek, said.” “I don’t care what domain you’re in, artifical intelligence is going to be impacting you in the future.”

Amoah says they’re still working out how exactly their program will be used for students,.
They are working with teachers in both Kenya and Ghana.

“Every kid has the opportunity to follow their dreams,” Amoah, said. “Education is power and so we want to make sure that every child has that power.”

On April 1st at University Park, the twenty teams will present their projects to judges from Penn State as well as companies like Amazon and IBM.
Ten groups will be picked to continue working on their projects and give one final presentation to judges again in September.
There judges will award teams money to continue their projects based on placing.