Major(s): Economics, Statistics
CFS Program: Field Studies in the Modern Workplace
This summer, I interned at Nousot, an automated data analytics firm in downtown Chicago. I’ve learned so much since the first day of my internship, and I would love to share some of my experiences with you. We are at an age where the Internet and Information Revolution is bringing on unprecedented computing power, intelligent machines, artificial creativity and an unparalleled access to information that no one had ever imagined. The advancement of technology now allows machines to not only replace repetitive manual labor, but also tasks that rely on abilities previously unique to human beings. For example, machines can perform judgments of subtle facial expressions of emotion, and drive cars in highway traffic, etc. At Nousot, I was introduced to a new way to perform data analytics. Using Genetic algorithm. Deep Learning and Artificial Neural Networks, Nousot is developing a cloud-based SaaS platform, that delivers a complete data science solution – automating all aspects from data ingestion, data analysis, model creation and validation, presentation, to insight analysis and contingency planning. I see with my own eyes how the AI “Brain” I have been helping to build could potentially take over the work of quantitative analysts, data scientists, econometricians, and statisticians. Our product can not only perform industry agnostic analytics at a faster speed on a larger scale, but also produce more robust analysis with significantly lower cost. I feel extremely grateful to participate at this early stage of digital transformation. Moreover, the looming threats of automations to human labor make me feel more eager than ever to learn and absorb new things. I have learned so much from my internship experience at Nousot. I did market and industry analysis and identified potential demand-side drivers for the restraint retail industry. I had no programming experience before this summer, but now I am able to independently build several APIs that scrape data from open sources, clean up data, access forecast accuracy and selectively pull new data into the learning database for the AI ‘Brian’. Most importantly, through interning at Nousot, I was introduced to a new way of thinking. Coding trained me to think in a more analytical, logic-driven, iterative problem-solving way. It has not only helped me process the rationale behind my own thinking, but has increased my ability to create more well-thought-out decisions through organizing my thoughts and intentions that I can apply in other aspects of my life. I am very grateful about everything I learnt from Nousot. It’s a very inspiring experience. Influenced by the innovative mindset, I start to think of more creative ways of future applications of technology: what other repetitive tasks could be automated, how human could cooperate with machines to reach greater potential, etc. I am very excited about the future of data analytics, and the future of everything. I hope that I could be able to constantly learn from people like my coworkers at Nousot, be aptly prepared for the exciting impact of the Internet and Information Revolution.