What most people don’t know, is that I studied Computing at Coventry University, and that my interest in tech is what led me to becoming part of The Sidemen.

Twenty years ago, my job as an influencer or digital creator didn’t exist. In twenty years from now, with the rapid advancements in technology and specifically artificial intelligence (AI), my job will look very different again.

Growing up, I didn’t really have any role models who worked in computing and technology. But following the growing popularity of online content – and with new research from Amazon revealing a quarter of 18-year-olds say they primarily receive career advice or inspiration from YouTube – I think I have a real responsibility to help educate and inspire them to consider a future in tech.

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Tobi Brown, a member of the influencer collective the 'Sidemen', and Computing graduate.

Looking back on when I was at school, I wish I had been offered more opportunities to explore computer science from a young age. Like many kids, I spent most of my childhood years on a computer, and gaming with friends, but my transition into studying Computing at university was more difficult as I wasn’t really used to the more complex aspects of the subject. I knew I liked computing, but I didn’t know the science behind it.

When Amazon asked me to join the judging panel for the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge I was thrilled to be able to give my support. The research into computer science education shows that over half of secondary school students are not provided with enough information about jobs in AI and computer science. To remedy this, I worked with Amazon to host the first ever Jobs Fair of the Future, inviting secondary school pupils to come by and learn more about careers in emerging technologies.

On the day, I got to meet over 100 young people from five UK schools and together we got hands-on with some of the most exciting AI-inspired jobs of tomorrow – from metaverse architects and paramedic drone programmers to AI sports coaches and environment protection agents. Football is a huge passion of mine so it was great to score against Robokeeper, a robot goalie that uses AI to predict and block almost every move. Up until this moment, I’d never flown a drone, so I particularly enjoyed giving the paramedic drone programmer experience a go – flying one of those things is way harder than it looks!

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AmazonJobsFairoftheFutureEdit_04[1].JPG Drone Flyer
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The energy from the students who attended was infectious and it was very clear to me that if we can engage and excite young people about the incredible things technology can achieve, they could go on to create some amazing things that can help society, the environment and everyday living in the future.

I’m so excited to see the innovations that students put forward in their entries for the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge. They are tomorrow’s inventors and I can’t wait to see what they can achieve.

Find out more about The Alexa Young Innovator Challenge.