JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Jeffco Public Schools held the annual Jeffcon tech conference at Arvada West High School in early February. High school students from around the district got a chance to meet with professionals in over a dozen careers, from companies including Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon.
This year’s event began with a keynote speech from Shelbee Eigenbrode, a data scientist with Amazon web services, on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Her presentation touched on the new program ChatGPT, which has been the subject of several media reports on how it can be used to write essays and pass exams.
But Eigenbrode’s talk focused on how artificial intelligence can be used in ways that expand career opportunities.
“There are implications and uses for artificial intelligence and machine learning across industries,” Eigenbrode said. “I love this type of event that’s focused on embracing technology with our youth."
Arvada West sophomore Thaddeus Aldenberry Hill said he’s interested in pursuing a career in politics or government but understands that technological advancements will play a role.
“It’s such an integral part of our world now and even in politics, it’ll be such an important part of policy making that you have to understand it in order to make policy about it,” he said.
Jill Ibeck, chief information officer for JeffCo Public Schools, said it’s important to expose students to technology, even if they don’t plan to work in computer science or technology industries specifically
“I like to say that we’re all technologists especially as tech continues to evolve and we innovate each and every day,” Ibeck said.