This is my second post spotlighting an individual about pretty much anything whether it is about religion, politics, science, philosophy, etc. Again, these individuals are interviewed on Reddit.
photo by www.cdm.depaul.edu
Tell me a bit about yourself? Age, sex, what country you live in, what you do for a living?
I’m a 18 years old male, living in Pennsylvania. And I am currently working on getting a degree in computer science.
What made you interested in computer science?
I’ve always been interested in engineering to a degree. When I was really young, my mother bought a giant container full of Legos. I went crazy with the Legos, and ever since, I’ve always been interested in engineering and science. When I went to my middle school/high school, that interest morphed into an interest in computers. I really enjoy problem solving with computer programs. There is something about it that I just find satisfying. Between the laptop that the school provided, and all the video games that I’ve played, I really got into that stuff.
What problems do you like to solve the most on computers?
I enjoy playing around, trying to get things to work the way I want them to work. For instance, one time I programmed a super simple AI for a small project. I really enjoyed putting myself in the computers shoes to figure out what the computer needed to know about its surroundings, and what to do from there. Video game programming would probably be my favorite, because there is a lot more interaction to experience.
That sounds like a lot of fun! If you could give any advice to kids or people in general who want to get into computer stuff, what would you say?
Figure out what about computers interests you. Try learning a computer language, even if it is something simple like Python. Computer science is a very broad field. If you enjoy pulling things apart, putting them back together, or even making things from scratch, the hardware side of it would be most appropriate. If you enjoy problem solving, and if you are good at math, then the software side may be best. Computer science is a two sided coin.
Interesting! What kinds of video games do you like to play the most? When you play video games, do you appreciate the developers a little more since you know the work that was put into making it?
I prefer strategy games, and building type games the most, all because of how I love to problem solve. Although, I do dabble in first person shooters here and there. I had an internship with a gaming company. I was able to experience exactly what a game designer does. It feels a little wired, because it takes hours upon hours to get things done. But in the end, for every hour you spend programming, there may be 50 hours worth of people playing the game. But I definitely appreciate what the developers go through, because it can get fairly infuriating when you don’t know what the problem is to begin with.
What are your thoughts on AI and do you see a time or possibly when robots might take over humanity?
I’m not really an expert when it comes to AI, but in my opinion, I’m doubtful that an AI would actually take over humanity. The AI would need to somehow benefit from humans going extinct.
What’s the most important thing that computer scientists and technicians need to fix with computers, internet, etc?
As far as the current problems with computers, the technology is expensive, and it is hard to make computing smaller and smaller because of the limitations with how electrons are conducted between atoms. Even if we somehow found a way to compute things with quarks and strings, there will have to be some sort of limit as to how small computers can get. The biggest problem with the internet, is the fact that it is almost monopolized right now. ISPs are pretty much free to charge whatever they want, and give you horrible service. Hopefully sometime within the next few years, google fiber will change that. The main thing that concerns me, is how programming will occur in the future. Artificially intelligence can potentially program itself, and program other things, much faster than other humans, so I have reason to be concerned about the security of the field I am going into.
Who are your favorite scientists?
Normal Borlaug is definitely number one on my list. After that, it is a tie between Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Followed by the Wright brothers.
Hope you enjoyed another interview with an individual!
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