The Silver AI Project

- creating an 'AI Aware' community

"At some point, maybe in the next 5 to 10 years, these systems will be able to set their own goals." Eric Schmidt 14 Jan 2024
"This is the most interesting year in human history, except for all future years." Sam Altman 17 March 2024

This website is the home for a short FREE AI course that introduces AI as a practical tool that can be used in everyday life. It also seeks to raise awareness of the power and direction of AI development. The course is completely non-technical yet will enable students to use common AI tools confidently.

Go straight to Session 1 - Making AI Images

IMPORTANT. The right to use and modify the materials on this website to present AI courses is freely granted to all (worldwide). You may cut and paste it to make your own personal AI course if you need to train others. All non-screenshot images used are AI generated, usually by Midjourney. Embedded videos of course belong to their original publisher.

The 'Yate and Sodbury AI' Song produced when the course was run for the first time 27 March 2024.

Robots dancing

Course Outline

This is a set of six one hour sessions usually delivered face to face to small groups (12 to 15 people). For convenience we split delivery into Part 1 and Part 2, each with three sessions over three weeks. It is entirely non-technical and is suitable for anybody who wants to grasp the potential implications of AI.

Attendees can, if they wish, access AI online tools between course sessions using simple devices like iPads and laptop computers. It is also fine to attend the course simply to watch and discuss the topics listed below.

Introduction to AI Course 2024

Before course starts. Please read this: Notes on Pre-course Preparation. It could save you time during the sessions.

Part 1: 3 sessions

Session 1. Making AI images and AI Songs
We start with an 'AI Song'. Most of the session though is about the production of 'AI Art' because it demonstrates the power of AI and allows easy introduction of some general principles. We discuss Suno.AI and also Midjourney, Leonardo and DreamStudio. Here is information on additional AI Art tools.

Comparing Art with AI Art. Some fun. Art v AI Art Challenge

Session 2. Examples of where AI chat is used
When artificial intelligence is given the ability to manipulate text it can do remarkable things. Here we look at its capability, talk about how chatbots and language models work, and examine many examples of questions they can answer. We go on to look at the different ways we will interact with AI including 'AI Wearables'.

Session 3. Advanced image creation and AI video
It is easy to obtain lovely images from AI. It becomes harder when you wish to have exactly the content arranged just as you would like. Also advanced prompting! This session further extends to 'AI Video' editing tools and the 'text to video' tools that threaten traditional movie studios.

Part 2: 3 sessions

Session 4. Writing with the help of AI
How AI can help with fiction writing including aspects such as creating a plot, deciding on characters and so on. The session also looks at buiness writing tasks using two examples. The first is preparing a grant application leading to discussion of the future with 'AI agents' working together. The second example is creating a slide presentation from a source document.

Session 5. Self-driving cars, humanoid robots and AI Assistive Technology.
How Tesla cars achieve 'self driving' capability using the concept of 'video in, actions out'. Extension to training of humanoid robots and their applications. Humanoids in everyday life and in senior care. AI based tools that help people disadvantaged by memory issues, blindness and depression etc.

Here are direct links to the pages relevant to blindness and dementia.

AI to aid those with Sight Issues
AI to aid those with Memory Issues

Session 6. AI Ethics and AI Futures
AI ethics and AI rights. Topics for open discussion include AI Bias, Defamation, Safety, Human Meaning, AI Warfare. The Singularity, Longevity, and The Age of Abundance. The world three years from now. Helping family survive AI, particularly those still in education. Further reading. Discussion of joining the ongoing AI Group work "AI Radio".

Frequently asked questions about Artificial Intelligence. You may also find these non-technical FAQs about AI useful.

[1]. AI for Health and Longevity
[2]. What AI means for the ordinary person

Should you pay (in the long term) for subscriptions to AI tools? For the past decade and more many websites have been free - because YOU have been the product which is being sold to advertisers. Many of the best AI tools have a small monthly subscription and always will have, while some never will. You must decide whether you wish to continue to be the product.

You may run this course! The most valuable thing you can do is to help spread these skills further. As noted above, the right to use and modify the materials on this website to present AI courses is freely granted to all (worldwide). The course was created and is maintained by David McAll (image below) to support the U3A in the small English country town of Chipping Sodbury. The content is universal however and can be delivered by any enthusiast anywhere in the world to any audience.

David McAll - creator of the Silver AI Project

Additional information

[a] Diffusion Method: about the 'Diffusion Method' used by AI Art tools
[b] Neural Networks: about 'Neural Networks'

Additional notes on AI tools from AI course

[a] Midjourney: about Midjourney AI
[b] DreamStudio: about DreamStudio
[c] Google Gemini: about Google Gemini
NOTE. Google Gemini images currently paused (Feb 2024)
It is worth reading the Google blogpost on their Gemini image problem 2024 and pause "We recently made the decision to pause Gemini’s image generation of people while we work on improving the accuracy of its responses. Here is more about how this happened and what we’re doing to fix it." 23rd Feb 2024
[d] OpenAI:
[e] Anthropic Claude family: getting Claude AI for chat and more
Claude 3 has three versions. Opus is the best. Sonnet is very good and FREE to use.
[f] Magnific AI - image Upscaler, Enhancer & Transformer
- note no free option and prices are substantial Pro plan $39/mo, Premium plan $99/mo (at 20 March 2024)
[g] Runway AI video production and more. Has some free credits.
[h] OpenAi's Sora for text to video.

We are still deciding whether to include others, for example:
(and yes, we know that they all do more than this brief description)
- for text to images
- for text to movie!
- Sora for text to video
- Pika Labs for Lip Sync
- Leonardo Image2Motion
- Suno Ai for text to music
- Grok on X (Twitter)
[not to be confused with Groq, a chip for running AI models extremely quickly]
- Nvidia's Chat with RTX (AI chatbot runs locally on your PC)
- Video from text
- Perplexity
- Google Video Poet
- Character AI

Essential watching 'Generative AI in a nutshell' Henrik Kniberg

Advanced tools:
Stable Diffusion
Hugging Face

Cool AI applications:
Amazon Rufus chatbot

Interesting blogs:
Don't Worry About The Vase

Best writers on practical use of AI:
Ethan Mollick (@emollick on X)
Professor @Wharton studying AI, innovation & startups. Democratizing education with games and AI
- see book 2024, Co-Intelligence, Living and Working with AI

Max Tegmark (@tegmark on X) and blog
- author of "Life 3.0 Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence"

Ray Kurzweil and Kurzweil Library
- author (book) of "The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology - 2006"
(still available)
- author (book) of "The Singularity is Nearer: When We Merge with AI" (published June 2024)

Scott Aaronson Scott Aaronson's blog
article: The Problem of Human Specialness in the Age of AI and other discussions.

Geoffrey Hinton (@geoffreyhinton on X)
British early thinker in the fields of deep learning and artificial neural networks.

Prof. Yoshua Bengio 2018 Turing Award winner

Brian Roemmele (@BrianRoemmele on X)
Predicted the end of keyboards screens etc for a 'voice first' future many many years ago.
Also one of the most entertaining people to follow on X, helped by his 'intelligence amplifier'.

Bryan Johnson (@bryan_johnson on X)
- anti-ageing, 'Don't Die'

CEOs and Thought Leaders See also 'Futurists' above.:
Jensen Huang. CEO NVidia - maker of the chips that power much of AI (@nvidia is NVidia on X)
Elon Musk. CEO Tesla and SpaceX and much more - also see Grok AI and Optimus humanoid robots (@elonmusk on X)
Sam Altman. CEO OpenAI (@sama on X)
Satya Nadella. CEO Microsoft (@satyanadella on X)
Mustafa Suleyman. (British) CEO Microsoft AI (Copilot, Bing, Edge) (@mustafasuleyman on X)
- not to mention Co-founder @GoogleDeepMind. Author 'The Coming Wave' 2023.
Emad Mostaque [CEO until 23 March 2024] - Stability AI Stability.AI Founder (@EMostaque on X)
Demis Hassabis - (British) CEO DeepMind (@demishassabis on X)
The Hugging Face community - home of Open Source AI models (@huggingface on X)

AI Fiction - Books:

[1] Iain Banks - The Culture series of novels
[2] Isaac Asimov - I Robot, the Foundation series and
[3] Philip K. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? [Blade Runner]
[4] Kazuo Ishiguro - Klara and the Sun
[5] Ai Jiang - I AM AI (novelette)

Advanced courses:
Google's Cloud Skills Boost
Microsoft's Generative AI for Everyone
Microsoft's AI for Beginners
Harvard's Introduction to AI with Python

Other useful info:

Requested by those making posters for their project. For QR codes try - the following is for the Silver AI project website.

QR code for Silver AI Project

Here is a useful guide to creating posters in Microsoft Word once you have used an AI art tool to create images etc and possibly an AI chat tool to refine or draft wording.

On a Mac using Pages it is very similar, just convert a new Pages doc to "Page Layout" (under the File dropdown)and you can place images and text however you wish.

There is a thriving AI U3A University of the Third Age Group in Yate and Chipping Sodbury which has created a local community radio station for the surrounding area of South Gloucestershire and villages like Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury and beyond.

The community radio station is called SAY AI Radio which stands for 'Sodbury and Yate AI Radio' which also draws music from Contact us on the email below if you wish to become involved.