8-year-old achieves highest maths GCSE grade after becoming world's youngest computer programmer

One of Britain’s cleverest kids has achieved the highest GCSE grade at maths after becoming the world's youngest computer programmer - at the age of just EIGHT.

Kautilya Katariya is one of the youngest ever to achieve the top grade in the subject - eight years earlier than most students take their exams.

The computer whizzkid previously set a record for being the world's youngest qualified computer programmer two years ago when he was just six-years-old.

Brainbox Kautilya is now budding to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs having already developed AI software and plans to set up his own company.

The pint-sized genius taught himself coding during the Covid lockdowns and holds the Guinness World Record for the youngest coder on the planet.

The Year 3 pupil has even given public talks at conferences in America and gave a speech to delegates in Dubai after being invited by the Prime Minister of the UAE.

And his most recent achievement saw him saw him pass GCSE maths with a 9 - the equivalent to an A* - after studying with Years 10, 11 and 12 students.

Despite competing against adults, Kautilya says he still enjoys nothing more than playing with little brother, doing puzzles, swimming and cycling.

But rather than playing computer games, he has more fun building them using programming languages such as Python.

He is also an IBM certified Artificial Intelligence professional and is self-teaching himself computing at a university level using free resources off the internet.

Kautilya, who attends Wootton Park School in Northampton, and describes himself as a computer explorer, said: “I'm feeling good about my achievements and I’m quite proud.

"I got interested when my dad gave me a book about building a programme and I liked it so much I finished it in a day.

“That was when I got a love for computing and I was five-and-a-half. This was when I wrote my first computer program.

I developed some AI projects using IBM Watson and Python including a chatbot, voice assistance and an image recognition system to detect fire and smoke.

"It can be used in places where there’s a high risk of fire so the camera can be connected to my AI model and then it can check if there’s fire or smoke.

"And if there is, then it can call the fire service.

“In the future I want to create new AI and set up my own company. It is fun learning with older people, I enjoy it,

"Programming develops problem-solving skills for future challenges and you can make almost anything using programming.

“In the short term I am already in the process of making a product to connect me to people who are like minded."

When asked what he would artificially build if he could make anything, he added: "I'd build a robot that could do anything.

"If you were sick it could be a doctor, if you want to talk it could be a friend. Of if you needed a lift it could be a rocket ship."

Kautilya's interest in programming began when he saw a game in a book named Bubble Blaster.

His dad Ishwari, 40, a computer software technician, of Northampton, said: "He saw this game but didn't seem interested in playing it.

"He was more interested in asking us questions about how he could make it himself while following instructions from books and videos.

"We bought him an early-learning book on coding and computers thinking it would just be one of those things that he would lose interest in.

"It was just like kid's play to him. 'He's enjoying it' we though, 'so let's give him more'.

"Then, we saw he had made his own copy of Bubble Blaster.

"He just started exploring lots of things over the internet and we bought him more books - he finished a two-year term in six months.

“He started studying artificial intelligence and got this Microsoft software that is made for the technical ability of a professional while being in Year 2.

"There was only so much we could help Kautilya with because of his advanced level.

“When school opened after lockdown they were really supportive and they were really impressed with his ability.

“The school started providing lessons for him at a secondary school standard He would have one hour in Year 3 and then a couple of hours in Years 10 and 11.

“Me and his mother are really proud of him and the amazing work he is doing.

“It was great to see him feel so accomplished. But the goal isn’t about what exams he can pass, it is for him to be able to learn more about his interests.”

Despite his young age, Kautilya was invited to give a talk at the World Government Summit in Dubai in March to discuss how governments can support children in learning about programming

Ishwari added: “The prime minister of UAE has invited him to speak again. He did a speech there in front of 500 to 600 delegates from around the world.

“But in general he’s just a normal kid, he’s just really focused on what he does. Anything he does he does with focus.

“He considers himself a problem solver and he likes to enjoy solving the problem on his own. If I try and help him he’ll say ‘no no, I’ll do it’

“You might be surprised but he doesn’t spend too much time on the laptop, maybe one hour.

"The rest of the time he spends being a normal little boy, playing outside. He likes Cycling, swimming and origami.

“When I ask him what he wants to do when he grows up, he just says he wants to solve lots of problems and keep doing computing problems.

“Maybe he got it from his mum, she’s the brainy one in the family."

Mum Trupti, 37, also revealed that on the day of the exam to become a certified programmer the schoolboy had spent five hours playing outside with his friends.

She added: "On the day of the exam I wanted him to be well rested.

"But in the end he had been out playing with his friends for five hours when it was time to sit it. But he was fine.

"I don't think the record is important to him. But he knows what he's doing. I'm happy he's done it while still being a child."