Cupertino Robotics Second AI Workshop

Growing up in the Bay Area, it isn’t uncommon to hear cool tech terms such as “Artificial Intelligence” being thrown around. However, not until recently did I discover the true meaning behind this generic term. After attending both workshops hosted by Cupertino High School Robotics, I’ve discovered that “Artificial Intelligence” (or AI) is a series of complicated mathematical equations, layers of hard-working neurons, and a whole lot of problem solving.

The first workshop was captivating. For a girl who hasn’t had much exposure to AI, it felt like diving into a new kind of world, a world where learning (a fundamental concept that we as humans take for granted) is dissected and reduced to nothing but thousands of simple input and output values. Abhinav and Mokshith were able to twist this complicated beast of a subject into a tameable, 40 minute presentation on slides. Granted I was confused, but it was a healthy confusion that further spurred my interest for this subject matter. I left the first section with a sense of accomplishment, both for my learning and the amount of information that was covered successfully during the presentation.

I was proud to be attending the second workshop held this week. Sitting at one of the numerous desks, excited and fumbling with lunch, the room quickly filled with bumbling freshman, sophomores and some experienced juniors and seniors. They all wore excitement on their faces and chatted amiably with their friends before the presentation. Two of the concepts I love about this presentation is the community and availability. It’s an amazing way to unite the diverse influx of high school children through one common interest: AI. Another point of difference among the students lay in their previous involvement with AI;, the room was a mixed pot filled with people experienced in the field as well as eager beginners. The presenters did a fantastic job on catering to both groups of people and everyone was totally captivated throughout the entire lunch period. Abhinav introduced different equations that specific neurons used, the pros and cons of each. I was particularly surprised that the complex calculus equations that I learned in class were being used. Finally, Mokshith showed us actual code of an AI program created to estimate Boston house prices. He ran the program and showed us the numerous inputs that contributed to the output, mentioning the variability in the number of neurons and layers needed to maximize the accuracy of the output. Overall, this workshop was very informative.

This week was definitely learning heavy where both Abhinav and Mokshith started bringing us into the intricacies of the complex world of Artificial Intelligence. However, it’s these same intricacies that attract me and dozens of others to this amazing subject. I'm definitely looking forward to the next meetings.

Written By: Olivia Qin

 Photo Courtesy of Audrey Hou

Photo Courtesy of Audrey Hou