Hello!

Welcome to the Medium blog series of a high school junior in Frisco, TX who has developed a newly found interest in AI/Machine Learning.

Before I became a part of the Inspirit AI community, I was quite fascinated and intrigued by rockets. In fact, I am doing some independent research in Rocketry and plan to seek guided advice from a mentor in the near future as well.

The only place I ever really heard the term “Machine Learning” was during nerdy conversations with talented programmer friends, or as I call them, my ‘calling-Java-a-foreign-language’ friends. However, rather unexpectedly, I started developing a curiosity for the mysterious world of Artificial Intelligence as well. It began with the computer science courses I started taking in high school. Rarely before was I interested in demystifying the seemingly magical powers of self-driving cars, artificial voice assistants, or chatbots. With some free time during the COVID-19 quarantine, I wanted to explore the field of AI/ML.

Enter Inspirit AI.

Coming into the program with decent background knowledge in Java but absolutely zero knowledge about Python and ML concepts was rather intimidating. This fear was not persistent though, since I met instructors with extensive knowledge and friendly personalities, connected with friends who were in the same boat as me, and was provided ample resources like easy-to-digest slide presentations and Google Colaboratory Notebooks to ramp up my knowledge in topics like Classification, Natural Language Processing, and Neural Networks.

Subsets of Machine Learning explained in an illustration
Subsets of Machine Learning in an illustration

Fast forward to today, I am definitely a (really) long way from being proficient in ML, but I can definitely say that I am very pleased with the new skills that I am developing, connections that I am making, and concepts that I am learning in the Inspirit course and its Ambassador Program. Currently, I am working on the Object Detection for Cars project with instructor Ricky Grannis-Vu, implementing concepts such as image classification and neural networks to develop a basic ML model that can detect cars, trucks, and background on an image of a busy road.

In the future, I aspire to somehow blend my other field of interest (Rocketry) with Machine Learning by possibly investigating applications of AI in the designing and building of complex spacecraft and aircraft systems.

I am very grateful for the opportunity Inspirit AI has given me to build my knowledge about AI, and really excited for the future that this field holds for me!

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Saujash Barman is a Student Ambassador in the Inspirit AI Student Ambassadors Program. Inspirit AI is a pre-collegiate enrichment program that exposes curious high school students globally to AI through live online classes. Learn more at https://www.inspiritai.com/.

High school junior; Inspirit AI Ambassador; IAAC Ambassador; Passionate about Rocketry and AI/ML