Learn and design Artificial Intelligence, with Ethics in mind

One-week workshop taught in collaboration with MIT Media Lab

Empow Studios is collaborating with MIT’s Media Lab to launch a low-cost Summer program to families in/around Cambridge! Facilitated by Empow Studios’ teaching staff & graduate students from MIT’s Personal Robots Group – Blakeley H. Payne & Daniella DiPaola, local students in this program will work collaboratively to grasp an understanding of AI, where it’s strengths and weaknesses lie, and will actively participate in problem-solving and design-thinking activities, including the re-design of YouTube’s recommendation engine.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a bit of a hot topic these days. You may have heard about it in the numerous applications we interact with everyday. Or…you may have heard about how AI will drive robots to human extinction! What’s important to understand is that AI is at it’s best when it’s built with ethics in mind, designed to make our lives more convenient, educational, and just flat-out cool. But when designed poorly, it can be frustrating or even harmful to interact with, perhaps because ethical inquiry was left out of the design thinking process. As long as we approach AI with ethics, applications are easy to work with, regardless of who you are. And a bigger plus, we’ll have nothing to fear about a robot apocalypse 🙂

Register for AI & Ethics

This video shows example activities from the AI + Ethics Summer Program

What you'll learn about AI & Ethics

How often do we interact with AI?

You may not be aware of this, but we interact with AI on a daily basis. We have conversations with Alexa, Siri, and the numerous Personal Assistants found in our smart devices. We are constantly recommended content on websites like YouTube and Spotify. And how about the convenience in Google Maps, which recommends us best routes and destinations based on real-time traffic data and driver history. All of these examples of AI are around us every day, and are actually learning and improving based on user trends.

Learn to see technology as manipulable

  • See the AI you use and how it’s used in the world around you
  • Gain a technical understanding of an AI system
  • Understand how AI systems are situated in society

Be empowered to design with ethics in mind

  • Identify stakeholders in an AI system and their values
  • Identify tradeoffs with respect to these values in the system’s design
  • Leverage technical and design knowledge to respond to these tradeoffs

AI + Ethics program: Schedule & Costs

AI + Ethics Program Details

2019 Schedule

June 24th – June 28th
9am-4pm, with early drop off starting at 8:30am.


For students entering grades 5-9 in the Fall



Fees collected for this program will be used to pay for operational costs and staffing by Empow Studios.

Location Details


MIT Media Lab
75 Amherst Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

Classes are held in buildings E14 & E15 (both are connected). Arrival is in the lobby.


This program is run in conjunction with MIT & Empow Studios. MIT will be compiling data for research studies, which will require two waivers for all students. Empow Studios & MIT will also be requiring a photo release waiver for this program.

We know it’s not easy to schedule summer activities, especially when parents are booking camp so early! So we want to make it easy: You’re eligible for a refund up to two weeks before camp starts; all we ask is for you to cover the $10 cost of registration & processing fees.

Empow’s Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program does not apply to the MIT AI & Ethics program.

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