A Walk in the Park (of the Future!)
AI and I have always had a long, complicated relationship. Since middle school, I have taken no shortage of coding classes. From Introduction to Programming to AP Computer Science Principles, as long as it involved computers, I took it. My favorite units were always applications of computer programming to current, commonplace issues. For instance, "big data" allowed me to visualize global warming on an illuminating scale. As a supplement project, I designed a python program in class that measured an individual's contribution to global warming based on mundane habits. For weeks, I labored meticulously over the expansive, never-ending neon lines of code...
Only to realize AI could breezily and more sophisticatedly accomplish the same in a fraction of a second. Instead of feeling slighted or bitter, I became fascinated with the idea of utilizing AI—with its infallibility, dexterity, and versatility—to solve humanity's contemporary, most urgent issues.
Afterall, artificial intelligence is changing the way the world works. Artificial intelligence and big data have risen to the top of priorities for small businesses and major corporations alike. CompTIA reports that, “91.5% of leading businesses invest in AI on an ongoing basis”, a worthy investment considering that “AI market share in the US is expected to value $190.61 billion by 2025” (Watters). There, however, remain ethical concerns over the AI revolution, such as the persistent issue of bias within ML models and the fear that AI will come to replace humans in their professions. Despite the negative perceptions, “Jobs are anticipated to be in high demand with 97 million specialists needed in the AI industry by 2025” (Watters). Considering my future career aspirations in data science--a field notable for its prevalent usage of AI--I knew that I simply wanted a hand in this industry of the future.
Through Inspirit AI's Scholars Program, I not only developed a more advanced, nuanced understanding of AI, but also AI’s extraordinary ramifications for humanity's future. The best part? The Inspirit AI program was as simple as a walk in the park (of the future!).
A Candid Review of Inspirit AI
To be entirely frank, coming up with an engaging hook for this blog post was more difficult than the entirety of my Inspirit AI experience. I say this with full compliments to the Inspirit AI Program--simplicity and accessibility are precisely what makes this program so successful. For context, I participated in their summer program as well as the AI Ambassador Program that following October. The original Inspirit AI program, which took place for me in the month of August, occurred over 2 weeks, with approximately 2 hours of engagement allotted per day. Though the program required student availability during the prime hours of the day (3 - 5 p.m. for me), I overall found the program to be worthy of the time commitment! First, I commend the Inspirit AI program for its small student-to-teacher ratio. Though there must have been at least 200 students enrolled, Inspirit AI supplied a plethora of instructors as well; we conducted the majority of each session in cohorts of roughly 8-10 students. The first hour would normally consist of a lecture delivered by one of our mentors, and through these lectures, we learned a diverse array of topics surrounding artificial intelligence--from common machine learning models to the ethics surrounding the use of AI. The lectures given were always incredibly enlightening, imparting much knowledge to me. After a brief break, the second half of the program featured an hour of hands-on programming through Google Collaboratory!
Overall, the original Inspirit AI program is definitely worth trying out, as it caters to individuals of all interests and backgrounds, regardless of their familiarity with AI or programming! The curriculum delivered a great introduction to AI in an easy to parse, understandable, and accommodating format. In a supportive environment of peers and qualified mentors, I was allowed to further my passion in AI, eventually leading to my own AI project…
The Implications of AI in Academia
My AI project is a critical component to a statistical study I am currently conducting at my school as part of an independent research program. Through my independent study, entitled “A Sustainable Future”, I am analyzing my school's paper consumption and utilizing an AI model to predict and draft an appropriate consumption plan for my school. My research consists of collecting data on how much paper my school uses based on factors such as subject, course type, grade, student preferences, teacher preferences, etc. From there, I will analyze any correlations each individual variable presents to paper consumption and try to model a mathematical function after such.
This is where the