Question 1: What are your goals and ambitions in life? How do you plan to achieve them?
A few years ago, I read a book called ‘The Pattern on the Stone’ by Daniel Hillis. It was a book about how computers worked, and it was simplified just enough for my 15-year-old self to digest it. I had always enjoyed working with computers and building things, but this book was what convinced me to study Computer Science. Since then, my ultimate goal has been to pursue Computer Science research, and trying to learn about ways we can build better systems.
I’m currently trying to achieve my goals by learning more about Computer Science. Last year, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant to gain more experience with research and learning to improve user interfaces for people around the world. I participated in building a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) to test how people from different regions of the world interact with linear and non-linear user interfaces. This gave me an insight into how research is done, and how we can build interfaces for people with different needs.
I am currently learning how to build smart devices to automate tasks at home. I recently finished working on a project called Movie Guide – which is an agent that works with devices such as the Google Home. It allows users to interact with it using voice commands, and provides information about movies, directors, and actors by scraping the web for information. The next task I’m working on is learning to build a smart device that can recognize people’s faces when they knock on doors to determine whether or not they should be allowed in, and to inform the user of any potential threats.
If life has taught me anything, it is that in order to achieve something, one must be dedicated and hard-working. I believe I possess those qualities, and I am confident that I will be able to achieve my goals of performing Computer Science research.
Question 2: What is your vision for your future home? What new technologies do you expect to see?
I would like my future home to be fully automated, with devices that can provide information by responding to voice commands. The first thing I would like is a more sophisticated version of voice-activated assistants such as Alexa or the Google Home. Assistants such as these should be able to provide information by searching the web, but should also be able to remember what information users asked for in the past. I also expect these assistants to inform me of emergency events, or any events that might be of interest to me. For example, if there is a discount on electronics at a store near me, I’d like my assistant to tell me.
Furthermore, I hope to see improved security systems that can tell me who is at my door, and whether or not it would be a good idea to open the door. For example, if my mother comes to visit me, I’d like for my security system to let me know so that I can clean up my room and avoid letting her see the mess. Better yet, I expect to see cleaning mechanisms under floor panels to be activated whenever spills or other sorts of mess are detected. This would eliminate the need to clean at all.
One of the hardest things I have to do in a cold climate is wake up early in the morning. I would love to see a mechanical bed that can help me get up. This could be achieved by having motors that could slowly pull away the blankets and warm the bed, while pressing on my body to eliminate the lethargy. In addition to this, I’ve always envisioned robots creating my coffee and bringing it to me every morning.
Ten years ago, if someone mentioned these ideas, I would shrug them off as science fiction. However, I believe that every day, people are working to make science fiction a reality. I’m proud to be a Computer Science student helping to make the impossible possible, and I am positive that we will be in possession of these technologies in the near future.