The last half of the Artificial Intelligence course at Algebra University featured three of my favourite classes, a trip to the stunning Adriatic Sea and an adventure through the winter wonderland of Plitvice Lakes national park.
Our second week commenced with an engaging and interactive class by Maja who led us through some of the ethical issues that arise from emerging technologies and artificial intelligence. We were asked to contemplate many ‘what if’s and ‘who would you save’ scenarios, particularly concerning autonomous vehicles. Our heads were left buzzing with the many unanswered questions that will have important implications for our future.
This week also featured a practical class on robots and robotics, run by the enthusiastic and always fun, Petra. We proved that adults can get just as excited as kids about robots, and potentially a bit more competitive! The class included an Ozobot race (won by Anke) and a robotic soccer match (won by my admittedly aggressive team with fellow student Lorenzo). This class was a hands-on practical day where we experimented with different forms of coding and learned about the wide ranging use of robotics in medicine, factories, entertainment, the military and space exploration.
After our second week of classes, our group was very happy to travel to Rijeka, for a relaxing weekend by the pristine Adriatic Sea. Here we experienced the Rijeka Carnival, where we practiced our YMCA dance moves and perfected our Abba lyrics. Our group decided to stay an extra day so we could also travel to nearby Pula, which is home to the sixth largest Roman amphitheater in the world, and the only one that still has all four side towers intact. We were startled by how intact the structure is, and the way modern life goes on as normal right outside its gates.
Our final week at Algebra was spent busily preparing for our final report and learning the basic components of computer vision and neural networks. One of the most informative classes of the course was the lecture on blockchain technology, taught by Boris Agatić. Boris, who was both passionate and well researched on the topic, enlightened us to the scope of blockchain far beyond currency into areas such as smart contracts, healthcare, real estate, marketing and accounting. Boris’ enthusiasm for the topic was contagious and I left this class feeling inspired about the game-changing potential that blockchain may have.
Our last day of classes was spent presenting our final reports. As our class was made up of students from such a broad range of disciplines, including design, genetics, law, hotel management, biomedical engineering and criminology, it was fascinating to hear the diversity of ideas presented and how they could be used in such different fields.
After a busy three weeks of study and exploration, we were relieved to have completed our coursework, and were treated to a trip to the Plitvice Lakes. At this time of year the park was stunning and glistened with snow and ice. Needless to say, many snow fights and snow angels did take place.
My name is Dominique and I'm from Brisbane, Australia. I currently study criminology at Griffith University and am about to enter my final year. I'm particularly interested in the interactions between technology, society and crime and how these will evolve in the future.