Students at Kainos AICamp learn new AI techniques with Amazon Web Services DeepRacer

Date posted
23 September 2019
Reading time
6 Minutes

Students at Kainos AICamp learn new AI techniques with Amazon Web Services DeepRacer

Birmingham and Belfast events educate students on cutting-edge approaches, by developing algorithms for a self-driving AI-powered model race car

Birmingham and Belfast, UK, 23rd September 2019 - Kainos, a leading provider of digital services and platforms, has given 45 university students the opportunity to learn cutting-edge AI techniques, including reinforcement learning using AWS. As part of Kainos A.I.Camp, 45 students were given an early preview of the AWS DeepRacer a fully autonomous 1/18th scale race car driven by reinforcement learning. Students were given a theoretical introduction to reinforcement learning and shown how to write and train an algorithm for AWS DeepRacer. After creating and training their own models, the students then competed in the AWS DeepRacer League by racing the model car around its track.

Kainos A.I.Camp is for undergraduates with an interest in AI, and events are held annually in both Birmingham and Belfast in August and September each year. The camp gives students the chance to experience practical scenarios and learn how AI can be used to benefit everyday lives, and concludes with a 12-hour hackathon. At both events this year, a full day was dedicated to AWS DeepRacer, offering a highly practical way for students to gain an in-depth understanding of emerging AI techniques, covering theory, use cases and hands-on training. As a result, students were able to develop and deploy their own reinforcement learning models onto the AWS DeepRacer.

Reinforcement learning is an advanced machine learning technique, which can allow machines to 'learn' complex behaviours without requiring labelled training data. It involves making decisions about the 'best possible' action it should take in a specific situation. The AWS DeepRacer League is the world's first global autonomous racing league, and is open to all. It involves monthly Virtual Circuit races, as well as in-person Summit Circuit race events worldwide.

'AWS DeepRacer is an interesting and fun way to get started with reinforcement learning,' said Neil Mackin, Tech Business Development, Amazon Web Services. 'The AWS DeepRacer League gives developers of all skill levels the chance to meet fellow AI and machine learning enthusiasts, both online and in-person, and to share ideas and insights. At AWS, we want to provide an environment that fosters innovation and education amongst young developers, coders and algorithm writers. Kainos is a member of the AWS Partner Network that shares this goal, and the Kainos A.I.Camp is an excellent opportunity to showcase the AWS DeepRacer to a keen audience.'

'We're grateful to AWS for allowing us to showcase the AWS DeepRacer during our A.I.Camp it gives students the chance to engage with AI in a tangible way, by showing them how an algorithm capable of driving a car can be built in a matter of hours,' said Gemma Crothers, CSR Manager at Kainos. 'Our partner ecosystem allows us early access to the technologies of the future, today and we're delighted to share this with the next generation.  We are confident that our attendees can now go on to apply these newly-learned AI skills to have a real-world impact.'

Kainos A.I.Camp is part of the Kainos Academy, which provides a series of initiatives including CodeCamp and A.I.Camp, alongside Earn as you Learn placements and apprenticeships designed to equip the next generation with skills for life. For more information on future events, please visit our website, or chat to us on Twitter.