AI Camp: The Experience and What I Derived from my Time
Artificial Intelligence is typically a name that tends to scare a lot of people. Whether it’s the algorithms or the idea of robots attacking humans, Artificial Intelligence is a topic that is quite obscure in our modern society. Yet, the effectiveness and productivity of it is used on almost a daily basis. This idea of a technologically driven society led me to explore the idea of this alien topic and ultimately led me to AI Camp.
At the beginning of the camp, I expressed a tinge amount of doubt about whether we would be able to create a workable product by the end of 3 weeks. Over the course of each week, we covered various topics regarding the functionality and usefulness of our product. These included: Python basics, image collection, Numpy, PANDAS, Matplotlib, data analysis, interpretation, etc. These topics helped us have an understanding of the what we were working with and the backbone of our system. As the weeks went by, I slowly began to develop various problems in our system, along with many errors that might jeopardize the functionality of our program.
From a personal angle, my work computer basically crashed the Friday before AI Camp began. So, I had to resort to using my mom’s computer and reinstalling all of my data and programs. It was quite an inconvenience, but minor nonetheless.
In terms of the actual problem, our primary error arose from YOLO. YOLO is a foundational program that basically sets up the CV environment. Towards the end of the third week, YOLO repeatedly crashed and and broke down during testing, which was frustrating, but it eventually worked. Moreover, CoCalc, the programming server we used, repeatedly crashed and caused us to start over on one occasion. However, in the end, we pushed through, and we got the program up and running with no issues.
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. — Winston Churchill.”
I’ve worked in many teams before, but never like this one. This group was filled with dedicated, talented, and determined people ready to make a difference. Each team member brought something new to the table. The team consisted of: Allister Dias (me), Safeeyah Hoang, Zac Brammer, Isaiah Ramiscal, Javier GomezTagle, Harshith Suresh, and Rinav Kasthuri (instructor). Zac is an experienced programmer who led various sections of the project including the creation of the matrixes, IOU, and integration of the software. Isaiah and Harshith acted on the same accord, by ensuring the various machine components worked and their functionality was fully explored. Safeeyah and Javier are creatively gifted in their ability to think of various solutions to stagnated problems. Toward the end, they worked on the frontend portion of the website. Rinav was a superb instructor who was very patient and very understanding. He took the time to understand the skillset of each team member and was fundamental toward the success of our product. He taught me various aspects that I was confused on and explained new concepts in a clear and concise manner. I, only knowing Python for about a year, contributed to various portions of the project including image labelling, matrixes, integration, and the front end of the website. In all, each team member was imperative to the overall success of our product.
Overall, never hesitate to try something new in your life. At first, I was hesitant to give AI and programming a try, but I took a risk to try it out. In the process, I learned a really applicable skill and made some great friends in the process. In life, never forget to give everything a shot. If you feel passionate about something, strive to achieve it at every turn. Learn how to hold on to your dreams during the calm seas and rough waves. I learned an awful lot at AI Camp and I don’t regret joining one bit.