Studying AI

Why did I choose artificial intelligence as my bachelor's program?

Today at 8:30 I had my first lecture at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. I've moved here 14 months ago with the plans to start studying right away, but then I've decided to skip a year and start working. On the side, I also wanted to wait for a newly starting AI bachelor's program that was in the planning phase.

For the last 8 years of my life, since the age of 12, I knew that I want to pursue a career in some computer related field, which then seemed to be computer science. This have changed during the last years of high-school and I've become quite sure that I would not enjoy studying raw computer science. I've decided to find a field that's as close to computers and programming as it can be, but it's still combined with some other field or science.

Bioinformatics seemed like a good choice at first (last year), but after I've listened to the opinion of some people around me, I've realized that learning that much biology would be a compromise next to my interests in computers and the bare beauty of code.

Artifical intelligence is a very hot topic. No doubts about that. The interest in the program here at the JKU also supports this. I'm afraid many people came without knowing that artificial intelligence is not just beautiful high-level Python code and some large datasets. Yeah, we'll have quite some math.

I'm interested in data science and in working with big data because of two simple reasons. First I enjoy the process and working with them, like data visualization, like feeling how much useful information can be in almost any large dataset, which at first seems useless. Secondly, I don't trust the people who currently lead and control these fields. I don't trust Silicon Valley companies gaining ownership over all the data in the world.

I want to become an artificial intelligence scientist / developer because at the end of the day I want to know: I did everything I could to turn this technology on the people's and not on the profit's side.

Hereby I encourage everyone who's afraid of AI and of a future powered by AI to go and study. To become better than everyone else, better than those profit gobbling developers selling themselves for entities that are simply not trustworthy on the path to a better future. I see many people avoiding AI, putting it as a bad thing for the mindful developer, but with this attitude we only let this powerful technology fall out of the hands of people, into the pockets of companies.

~ October 2019 / Linz