This Girls’ Summer Camp Could Help Change the World of AI

In a sparse lecture room at Stanford University, six students are rehearsing a presentation they’ll later give to a roomful of VIPs from the university’s artificial intelligence lab. Papers are strewn across the table. Hoodies hang over the cloth-covered cushion chairs. One student wears a pair of Pi earrings. Another wears a t-shirt that reads: “i: Be rational! π: Get real!” A sheet of white poster board sits in the corner, with a few words scrawled in black marker. “Monitoring Hand Sanitation in Hospitals Using Computer Vision,” it says. After a while, they give it a dry run. Scripts in hand, the students describe the images they captured from cameras mounted above hand dispensers at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and they explain the machine learning techniques they’ve used—including something called “climbing the hill”—to analyze the footage and…

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