I really set out to challenge myself this summer and engage in different areas that are not part of the standard academic curriculum. With that, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in an immersive artificial intelligence program. With a group of five other international students alongside Stanford Ph.D. and undergraduate students majoring in Computer Science, we successfully developed a model using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to perform an “Anti-Refugee Sentiment Analysis.”
More specifically, using primarily Natural Language Processing techniques, we developed a Neural Network model– a model inspired by the human brain and used to process information] in our attempts to identify hate speech towards refugees on social platforms such as Twitter. This model that we developed gave us over 90% accuracy in our ability to identify and eliminate anti-refugee tweets. The need to create a safer and more inclusive environment on social platforms has become very apparent over several real-world events and discoveries throughout this project alone. Moreover, this has been a great learning experience and one that has significant social benefits in helping to foster inclusivity.
I not only did my AI project this summer but also participated in a highly selective Harvard program. To put this idea into perspective, of 10,000 students who applied, I was 1 of 900 selected students who participated in the program. I participated in a Harvard public speaking course. Within the two-week duration of the course, I, along with 12 other students in my class, completed one semester of material of the public speaking course offered as an elective to Harvard undergraduate students. I delivered three speeches over the two weeks, with each speech serving a different purpose. I first delivered a speech of introduction and, following this, a speech to persuade and, finally, a speech to teach.
Along with the course, I attended several exclusive Harvard symposiums. The symposiums that I attended related to technology and the future of work, Tokenism and the role young leaders can play in dismantling it, and the practice of Mindfulness. Moreover, from my experience at Harvard, I not only acquired new and valuable skill sets in public speaking, which will serve me well in my future, I also engaged with top educators of the world.
Alexandra Boushey is a Grade 12 student and “a lifer”– she came to Elmwood in Junior Kindergarten