It's that time of the year again, when the Seniors of Clapham School display an important outcome of their schooling. The defense of their Senior Thesis is a rite of passage that ushers these well deserving students into early adulthood, as they are empowered and equipped to serve Christ.
Throughout the months of April and May we will share posts featuring the work of each of our seniors. If you are intrigued by these appetizers, be sure to join us for their presentations and defenses during the week of May 10th. More details will be shared as we approach the dates.
Artificial Intelligence Is the Wave of the Future . . . or Is It?
by David Le Roux
Question: What is your thesis about?
As AI starts making its way further into our daily lives my thesis takes a look at its effects on society. In my thesis I explore weather AI should be welcomed into society or rejected completely.
Question: What was the hardest part of writing your thesis?
My thesis naturally deals with very technical subjects that I am not very experienced in. I found it very difficult to bridge the gap between my knowledge and that of the experts.
Question: What surprised you most about the process or findings?
I was pleasantly surprised by all the medical applications that AI is used for every day. It was interesting to see how AI has made huge leaps in areas like cancer detection and the creation of new medicines.
Question: How did you narrow down your topic?
I knew that I wanted to write my thesis on a more technical topic where I could use my background from South Africa as well as my time spent at Clapham School. I had read one of my sources Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Neil previously and really enjoyed interacting with the ideas it presented, and I wanted to develop my opinions on those ideas further.
Question: How will your findings impact your life personally?
I have become more aware of my day-to-day interaction with AI and its effect on my life. For instance, you can see it in social media with how it tries to keep your attention.
Question: How did you experience the process of writing the thesis?
I found the process of writing very helpful to develop my ideas further and found that I can articulate these ideas much better now that I have spent months writing them down and editing them.
Question: How are you preparing for the defense?
Public speaking has never been one of my strengths so I am trying to get more comfortable with speaking in front of other people.
Question: What advice do you have for next year's seniors?
Definitely choose a topic that you're interested in because you will be working on it for most of your senior year. Start as early as possible because your senior thesis is never finished, there is always more to write or something to articulate more efficiently.
David started at Clapham School in January of 2020 after moving to the United States from South Africa. He was born in the U.S. but grew up in South Africa where his parents are from. David started high school in South Africa and took mostly technical classes like Computer Science, Engineering and Physics, and rounded out his education at Clapham which brought in more Literature, History and Philosophy. David plans on attending the Illinois Institute of Technology next fall majoring in Computer Science.