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The Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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The advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have surpassed all expectations. Just ten years ago common AI voice assistants were confined to futuristic movies; now Alexa or Siri are our new companions, ordering our groceries or switching the light on at home. It is expected that AI will play a significant role in the future with technologies such as self-driving cars being able to affect the way that people live their lives. Robots have already been introduced into the medical field: hypothetically, an advanced surgical robot would be able to operate with greater precision and accuracy than their human counterparts. When fully implemented, it would be safer and cheaper to use AI to carry out all surgeries as they would have more access to information and less margin for error than humans. There is a realm of possibilities waiting to be explored and to know that I could be a part of the process fascinates me.

The protection of consumer data is still an issue. With large companies depending on information about common consumers for advertising purposes, it has quickly become a reality in which companies know a lot more about people than most of us would like. Laws have been implemented in an attempt to prevent misuse of data by companies, such as the recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, they are often difficult to enforce as there are so many people using the internet at the same time due to the unprecedented advances in technology in recent years.

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I have studied Python and have learnt how to use basic syntax and write code using encryption and storage techniques in order to safely store user login information. More recently, I have completed a course on Swift (IOS) app development; this has allowed me to gain vital programming skills and create fully functioning iPhone applications such as a calculator, a weather app and even a clone of the popular communications application WhatsApp. In addition, I have begun to learn how to code in C++ and JavaScript. Through this, my drive to enter the field of Computer Science has grown significantly, and I look forward to expanding my knowledge of the subject though focused in-depth study and practical application at university.

During the past year, I have gained valuable work experience at O2. This has provided the opportunity for me to develop a strong work ethic and learn how to prioritise, due to the fact that I am required to balance work and school life simultaneously in order to succeed in both areas. I have also acquired various skills: teamwork, problem-solving and communication – both with customers and senior members of staff. In addition, I have attended training events, both on-site at O2 head office; this has enabled me to grow in confidence in my role as a retail adviser and learn how to adhere to important company policies such as data protection. My technological skills have proven invaluable in this job role.

Prior to working at O2, I volunteered for four years as a team leader at a children group with my responsibilities including setting up technical equipment, instructing and managing a small group of primary aged children, working with other team leaders to ensure that the session was enjoyable and safe for the individuals taking part. Throughout my school life I have been involved in sport: in 2015 and 2016 we placed as runners-up in the Cambridgeshire Schools County Rugby Competition. This has allowed me to develop my teamwork, leadership and communication skills through practice and refinement.

Computer science is a sector that is advancing faster than any other. Modern society would be unable to function without innovations such as mobile technology, Wi-Fi, networks and the internet. Considering that there is so much left to create and discover, I am excited to develop my understanding of the subject to become an innovative, well-rounded computer scientist who can contribute to the advancements of technology in future years.

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