Image ©Coder Bunnyz
The brilliant young lady that taught children how to code using her board game "Coderbunnyz", has now invented the world's first board game with artificial intelligence incorporated into it. Below is my interview with the remarkable inventor.
Image ©Coder Bunnyz - Samaira Mehta
What got you interested in programming?
So it's a funny story, now that I think back to it, actually. A few years back, my dad did a little prank on me. He showed me something on his laptop that had one button and command that said: "press this if you are beautiful". He asks me to give it a try, But when my mouse pointer touches the button the button disappeared. I was like, how did you do that? Am I not beautiful, what’s going on in here? He said this was made by coding and then I was like “I want to do that too” and that’s where it all started.
How long have you been coding?
After getting started at coding when I was 6, I have spent my past 4 years learning different programming languages and writing code in scratch, Java, Python. And I have learned over past some years that programming is such a powerful art. Almost everyone does it in their everyday life one way or another.
So how does your new board game work?
CoderMindz is the world's first ever board game that teaches AI concepts. It's easy to get started, focus on concepts. Show your skills - train your robot first, then identify (infer) an image by collecting data. Reach the destination before the others do, beware of laser zaps! Play with the basic or advanced card.
Image ©Coder Bunnyz
How did it all start?
So while I was leaning various coding languages, last year I have been hearing a lot of conversation about AI. In fact, my dad designs Artificial Intelligence chips, that makes AI run faster. So one day when he was talking about AI chips to me, my 6-year-old brother who overheard our conversation said in a plain voice - "What is AI?". And that got me thinking won't many other kids will have the same question? There is so much talk about AI! What if I created a board game to teach AI concepts to kids and adults? and CoderMindz, the first ever AI board game is born!
I launched CoderMindz recently and is available now. Artificial Intelligence is a big and emerging branch. The “Intelligence” in machines is programmed by “Training”. Once trained the machines “Infer” and start behaving “Autonomously”. Training involves Back-propagation which is Retraining or Fine Tuning. Using bots and code card this game sneakily introduces all those concepts which form the foundation of today’s AI world. Learning Coding and AI concept helps you connect with real coding and AI. I am looking forward to bringing this game to the market and then start doing a workshop using CoderMindz!
Image ©Coder Bunnyz
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? 20 years?
Wow! That’s a very good question. In 10 years I will be in some college pursuing my dreams and getting my basic education. In 20 years I may be managing a company that is changing the face of the world. I would have …
“Yes, one billion kids can code” This is my dream to get Coder Bunnyz in the hands of each and every kid in the world.
How do you feel about the impact you've already made on young women and their interest in the IT industry?
I have been doing many programs that are dedicated to girls only. Girls U Code is conducting free workshops to introduce coding in a really fun way. Within no time these girls learn basic and advanced programming fundamentals. Turns out all computer languages like Scratch, Python, Java, and C use these same concepts. So once they learn fundamentals playing CoderBunnyz, it makes much easier for them to learn any coding language.
Why is it important for children and young people to learn how to code?
Coding is the future. As President once said - “For people who want to be leaders of tomorrow there is no skill as important as learning to code. While not every student will become a coder when they grow but a basic coding understanding can make them better thinkers”.
Image ©Coder Bunnyz - Aadit Mehta
You have been very busy since inventing Coder Bunnyz, what have you been doing between then and now?
After inventing CoderBunnyz I have done over 75 workshops with my board game in Silicon Valley, teaching over 2400 kids, including over 50 at Google HQ. As I mentioned before I also started an initiative Girls U Code to teach coding to underrepresented girls. I have also been doing a lot of speaker events including being the youngest speaker at CMG impact 2016 Women in Tech, Microsoft SVF 2017, Apinxt 2017 and at over 12 tech events in Silicon Valley and beyond. I was also invited to be part of the NASDAQ closing bell ceremony. So all in all its has been a great journey and I am humbled by the support of the community for my work.
With CoderMindz - The AI Board Game, I am taking this journey forward.
I would like to thank Samaira for her time and allowing me to interview her for this post about her new AI coding board game. She's already made such a huge impact in the world and it keeps getting better, thanks to her hard work. I'd also like to thank her father Rakesh for corresponding with me in collaboration of this blog post. What will she think of next? Only time will time, but hopefully I'll be writing about it here when it comes.