Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Computer Science

Well, I'm trying to decide now my future for a while. Now a few people have advised me to try to get into the PhD program instead of the MS. I would be able to swim, I think, but I have never been skilled in navigating the bureaucracies that would be required. I totally biffed it in my undergraduate program in Linguistics. "I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger." I probably would have advised younger me to get a 4.0, stop skipping classes, and get into the Computers program at UW. That, and a little earlier capitalize on scholarship opportunities and not go into deep student debt. On the other hand, I would probably have neither a wife nor a son right now.

I always had this vague idea that I would be the best of the best, peerless in my chosen profession. But I looked today at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab; basically, there were 50 or 60 faculty that I'd never heard of, and there was one guy, Tim Berners-Lee, who basically created the World Wide Web as we know it today. It made me feel like a little drop in the ocean of humanity.

I think I've decided on artificial intelligence. Software development sort of interests me, but I'd rather bring something smarter and more difficult to the table. I mean, I know that people have built their entire careers on software, but it seems like a pretty interchangeable sort of role. How great can software get really? But artificial intelligence is a name to conjure with, really interesting things are coming down the pipe, and I want to be there.

For a comprehensive introduction to real AI, go to AI Topics, a web resource about many different aspects of AI computing.

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