My High School Hopes & Dreams

I can’t say that I remember my first exposure to artificial intelligence as so much of the technology that surrounds our lives is full of hidden algorithms running an elaborate show behind a thin curtain. However, I do remember the first time I got to peek behind that curtain. As a senior in high school, I chose to take a Computational Science class which focused on building models for scientific phenomena. The class had a unit on machine learning, and whether or not you agree that machine learning is a subsection of AI, it was building decision trees in this high school class that first showed me how computers can make ‘choices’-- and I was hooked. Not only did I spend hours refining that code, but I also bought books on machine learning to hone my skills.

As I read beyond my skill set and into abstract ideas that I, personally, am years away from ever being able to implement, I became fascinated not only with the technical aspect of AI but also the ethical side of using such technologies. This desire for a deeper understanding of AI led me to join HopAI in my freshman year of college as I believe artificial intelligence is the technology of the future, and we all would greatly benefit from trying to understand it and its implications further. However as interesting these conversations are, I am still deeply interested in AI from a technological standpoint. Because of this, I have joined a design team focusing on deep learning in medicine. My goal is to have a well-rounded understanding of this fascinating topic, and I continue to strive for that goal by writing this post as with the hope of starting yet another important conversation about this rising technology.

- Cassie Parent, Freshman at Johns Hopkins University