On Friday 20th January, a group of Year 11 students visited the new IBM head office in Waterloo, Central London. Students were given a tour of their client facing floor, where on display were a number of exciting exhibits. After a short presentation about the history of the company, the students were shown a model of an IBM Quantum Computer, technology very much still in its infancy. The students asked a number of intelligent questions about the future role of such devices.

Afterwards, the students looked at an interactive AI self-driving car exhibition, demonstrating how software learnt the best way around a racing track by repeatedly completing the objective. This had wider implications for not only getting round the track the fastest, but also using the least energy.

The next exhibit was an immersive experience of an interactive history of IBM’s AI controlled ship, the Mayflower. Students learnt how the ship traversed the Atlantic, and studied the ocean in detail using a number of very technical sensors.

Finally, the students saw a robotic dog called Spot as it carried out maintenance checks of the office floor.

Before leaving, the students were given an invaluable experience of completing an assessment day task, a recruitment technique often used by the world’s largest companies to find the best talent for a job opening.

Overall the afternoon was a rich experience for the students and we would like to thank our partners at IBM for their time and generosity.