Jason Jewik | After A Year with the ACM AI Fam

After a year with ACM AI Outreach + Events, there are a few things that stick out to me most. Firstly, I love how passionate everyone is about not just AI but also mentoring younger students who otherwise might not feel welcome to explore CS, let alone ML. I’m grateful to the senior officers for being patient with me as I struggle to understand the concepts I’m supposed to be teaching (whoops). Furthermore, I’m continually inspired by the dedication of my fellow officers to producing quality educational content—like c’mon, have you SEEN the slides on supervised learning or convolutional neural networks? They’re beautifully done presentations: memes, basketballs, and all.

But most importantly, I love that we care. I love that we take the time to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. I love that we are understanding when someone has circumstances that prevent them from working at their best. I love that we are open to discourse about the lack of diversity in tech, how that can form implicit biases, and how we should be cognizant of said biases (among other things) in order to improve our abilities as educators. This is a team of people who genuinely care about both their work and each other.

Speaking of work, the thing I’m most proud of within ACM AI Outreach + Events is the podcast. Sure, I don’t play the forward-facing role of host so you’ll never hear my voice, but editing is just as important too! Admittedly, we’re still far from being a professional production nor am I even close to being the best editor, but I hope that students who stumble upon “You Belong in AI!” will find that there are people in tech just like them.

In the future, I hope that this podcast can grow and reach even more students. I hope that—as a whole—ACM AI Outreach + Events can expand to more schools and foster a community interest, both through our local and online presences, in the application and ethics of AI, especially among our non-CS friends. (Seriously, we need more policy-makers and business-folk who better understand what AI can/cannot do.)

In light of Fall Quarter likely being a hybrid online/on-campus situation, it will be a bit difficult for us at ACM AI Outreach + Events to do our work. Nonetheless, I’m excited for the various virtual stuff we have planned, like the Research Panel. Stay tuned for that!

Written on July 18, 2020 by Jason Jewik