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Linear Humans - Columbia Engineering Why School


YuxinGuan 1 / 3 1  
Oct 29, 2017   #1
Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why. (300 words or less)

linear human nature



"Humans are linear by nature - and technology is exponential." Futurist Ray Kurzweil stated in the Law of Accelerating Returns.

Under exponential growth, artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence within this century. During the Kaggle Competitions, I found it astonishing how my laptop could make precise predictions after "learning" massive amount of data. I believe at the Gussman Labs, I can achieve more. Moreover, in the Department of APAM, I can explore the field of machine learning from three different perspectives: math, data science, and computer science. The introductory course COMS W4701 - Artificial Intelligence opens the door to this young and rapidly growing field, while the STEP summer program furthers my engagement in future-making by placing me with groups like Watson and DeepMind.

Yet sometimes we need go back to our linear human nature. As AI grows smarter and approaches human level, we need to hold on even tighter to our human values, and think about the politics and ethics of AI. The answer, missing from traditional engineering curricula, lies in the book list of Contemporary Civilization in Columbia's unique Engineering Core. Closely examining Foucault's Discipline and Punishment, I can develop a deeper understanding of justice, and put a human touch in the algorithm of parole and sentencing decisions. Perusing Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understandings, I can unravel how machine "thinks" and take AI technology to the next level.

In this era of fast development, infinite possibilities lie at my feet. Only with Columbia's light, can I unravel the path that leads to the person who I want to be.

Any change or advice would be much appreciated!!
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,223 4319  
Oct 29, 2017   #2
Guan, the forum has a one essay per thread policy. Since you posted 2 essays here, I will only be able to respond to one. Please post the second essay as a separate thread so that I can advice you about that essay as well. In the meantime, here is my review of your first essay.

You do not really explain what you value most about Columbia in your essay. You speak more of the opportunities available for learning in your essay rather than why you think a Columbia education is valuable. The essay will improve if you focus on something that is unique about the quality of the university. Just pick one. It could be the quality of the professors (you can pick one professor whom you would like to learn from and build the essay around that) or the way that the students of the university go on to better and highly respectable jobs in the field of their choosing. Or something else altogether. Think of the "value" of a Columbia education on a personal basis. It isn't just about discussing the labs, the competition, or the courses. Think beyond the obvious, that would be the more impressive response for this essay.
OP YuxinGuan 1 / 3 1  
Oct 30, 2017   #3
@Holt
Thank you so much for your comments!


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