Following a Passion in AI: The Story of Joshua

For many students, deciding on a focus for their Matura Arbeit can be daunting. For Joshua, a student from our Swiss gymnasium, this question led to an exploration of data analysis and artificial intelligence. In a recent interview, he shared his personal journey and the eventual creation of a multi-page web application that combines the features of a virtual assistant and a data analysis tool.

16 June 2023

Joshua began the interview by explaining his project to those unfamiliar with data science and artificial intelligence: “Essentially, I am building a platform that can facilitate data analysis and predictions without the need for coding. The virtual assistant element enables verbal dialogue, while the web application allows data to be analyzed, visualized, and predicted.”

His inspiration for his project came from conversations with several people, including his programming tutor and parents while his interest in programming and machine learning was piqued last summer, and the more he explored the topic, the more it held his attention.

However, he recognized during his research process that not everyone may be interested if coding is involved. So, he set out to create something that could bridge the gap and to make artificial intelligence more accessible to everyone.

Joshua is looking for someone to do usability testing on the web application, but he admits that he did not have this in mind when he first began the project. “I was originally planning to create a virtual assistant similar to SIRI.” Now that his project has taken a different form, he realizes some further development and testing is necessary. “I aim to have a general structure and skeleton of the paper before summer break, and then additional fine-tuning will follow.”

After his graduation at our Institut Montana in Summer 2024 he is also considering applying to prestigious universities abroad for his future studies in computer science and artificial intelligence, with Stanford and Carnegie Mellon being his top picks.

At the end of the interview, Joshua made a personal prediction of the future of artificial intelligence and the impact this has on people's lives. “In my opinion, natural language processing has gained much attention and appreciation, while other areas of artificial intelligence, such as computer vision, have been neglected and should be developed as well. If it will develop irresponsibly AI could lead to serious risks, but if done correctly there is potential for great benefit.”

Joshuas’ story is an inspiring one of passion, exploration, and contributions to the field of AI. With careful consideration and development, it is not only possible but likely that advancements in data analysis and artificial intelligence can help to further productivity and benefit the lives of people all over the world.

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