05 Jul Francois Lovensky, product of the Haitian “Geek” generation
Translated from French.
Young François Lovensky Carl Junior made a name for himself at the first edition of the FIRST Global Challenge. An international competition, initiated in 2017, aimed at young STEM enthusiasts, geeks from all over the world, during which he and his fellow high school students represented Haiti. The opportunity to address the issue of new technologies, Artificial Intelligence and their teaching on the spot. Interview with a product of the Haitian geek generation.
Since when did you develop this passion for science?
Since my childhood, around 5-6 years old. I was amazed to see my father disassemble and put together a computer or a PC with such ease, that I thought I would like to be a computer scientist, like him. At this age, most children are more interested in online games, unlike me who preferred to research computers and their components. This has greatly increased my enthusiasm for science, especially for computing.
How and why are you interested in artificial intelligence?
The desire came to me after watching several documentaries on Artificial intelligence including, Artificial intelligence: The reign of robots. I immediately realized that Artificial Intelligence is the future and that this field is not nearly as advanced as in Marvel (Avengers, Iron Man) and other famous films like: Her, Ex -Machina etc. By becoming interested in AI, I intend to make my contribution and the knowledge that I will acquire over the years of studies, to the advancement of this field. It’s an inevitable issue.
Do your parents, your entourage, encourage you in this way?
Yes. My parents as well as my entourage are actively encouraging me in this way. They rely a lot on me to get there.
Are there in Haitian schools, quality courses in this area?
Indeed, the computer and science courses taught in Haitian schools, mainly in private schools have a complete program. For example, from the first year in the sixth grade, children learn computer components and word processing on Word. From the 7th to the 9th, they learn to handle the Windows operating system, to use Excel and Powerpoint, to network computers, and from the 3rd year of high school to the end of the year, they learn to program HTML5, CSS3 websites; the notions of algorithms; use the scratch software. For the more advanced, there is even a robotics course.
Are there science clubs on site?
Yes, there are several science clubs, but like everywhere, they are not particularly known to everyone.
Tell us about the FIRST Global Challenge contest you attended in 2017.
FIRST Global is an organization that annually organizes an international robotics challenge to inspire a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among more than two billion young people around the world. The first edition, held in 2017 in Washington, was a great experience for all participants. There were four of us in the team representing Haitian Robotics: Alex Alceus, Wilford Perceval and Me, with Mr. François Berwith, our coach. We had spent a lot of time preparing our robot. We had redone it several times with an emphasis on improving and precision of movements to finally give us this product.
What did this experience bring you?
It allowed me to go beyond my limits, to widen my field of vision, to discover the beauty of values such as fair play and group work. I now understand what it’s all about and why we should all work as a group for the advancement of a community. This competition also allowed me to have new ideas for the advancement of the technique in the world and especially in my country.
In what way could artificial intelligence be an asset for Haiti?
According to a study, AI will add nearly $ 16 trillion to the global economy in 2030, but 70% of this new wealth will be captured by North America and China and only 10% will go to all countries Southern (poor countries). Thus, Artificial Intelligence has many advantages but even more disadvantage for unprepared and unstructured countries for this kind of technology. Artificial intelligence would be an economic and medical asset for Haiti if and only if we started by adapting our structures that are not in the 21st century era, and to make a great leap forward thinking about training the population on the new technologies. Because, the abrupt integration of Artificial intelligence in Haiti is also likely to make our communication infrastructure deficit even worse, the delay of our education system and the lack of a social safety net to help victims of technological change .François Lovensky Carl Junior and his team at the First Global Challenge contest.What job do you want to practice later and for what purpose? After the final I will apply in universities to learn computer science and have a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, ICT and in Computer Security. With this I think I can help my country to find a place in the world of computing and improve the living conditions of Haitians and other countries in difficulty through technology.