AI is going to "fundamentally change how we live"

By Hayden Moore

WHEN Artificial Intelligence (AI) is brought up, an automatic thought process is of robots taking over the world like something from a Hollywood blockbuster – but it is going much deeper than that.

Clondalkin native Deirdre Corr progressed to a level nine Graduate Certificate in Artificial Intelligence through Springboard+ after graduating with an Undergraduate Degree in Computer Science in 2015.

Deirdre Corr 2 1

Deirdre Corr 

Springboard offers free, or in Deirdre’s case, because she was in full-time employment, a massive decrease on her fees meaning she only had to pay €365.

With Artificial Intelligence somewhat of a natural progression for computer science graduates, Springboard enabled Ms Corr to pursue it in Dublin City University (DCU) and hang on to her full-time job with BearingPoint.

“I wasn’t going to commit to a two-year Master’s in case I couldn’t handle working full-time and the masters together – if I realised that a few months in then that’s nearly €4,000 down the drain.

“I wanted to find something that was one-year part-time, that way I could balance both work and education, in a reputable college and I did with DCU.”

In light of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal last year, the instructor with Code First for Girls and Software Engineer, explained to The Echo how Artificial Intelligence and data analytics are growing.

“It is going to fundamentally change how we live and how we work in the future, and that’s really exciting, but there are certain applications of Artificial Intelligence that people need to be wary of,” she explained.

“AI can also be used in a harmful way, for example, for creating propaganda and fake news on social media.

“[Artificial Intelligence] uses massive amounts of data and complex algorithms to learn things.

So, if you imagine a robot mimicking a human speaking, it needs lots of examples of human discussion to be able to decide the correct response to a question.”

As Deirdre went on to explain, super computers can process and analyse large amounts of information and use statistical techniques to output predictions, and can be used to advance technology in many different industries, including healthcare.

The Newcastle resident was named Programme Winner 2015 for the Computer Science category at the Global Undergraduate Awards for creating a system that helps detect apnoea in a home environment, which could detect when sufferers of the disorder stopped breathing in their sleep.

“Using data analytics, researchers are analysing the genes and X-ray/MRI images of cancer patients to detect patterns and abnormalities to help make accurate predictions and diagnoses through data mining.”

Having finished up the Graduate Certificate through Springboard in DCU back in May, Deirdre has decided that she is going to go further her education again.

She expanded: “I’m so glad I did it. I enjoyed it so much that I have decided to go back in September to do my Master’s and I never would have known that I could handle work and study if it wasn’t for Springboard.”

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