Around my first winter at Ewha which was two years ago, every seminar and speech that discussed the future involved topics concerning artificial intelligence. Also, Ewha was pushing itself to provide more in-depth lectures about the subject to the students as well, one example being the development of the “Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence” course for Cyber Security students. Joined with my personal interest in digital visual tactics enabled by new technology, I naturally began to attempt setting foot in the field.
However, amidst the growing mannerism, disrupted daily routines, and corona blue, it was difficult to keep up the fire. By the midterm of the second semester of 2020, with the realization about how broad the subject of artificial intelligence is and how little have I managed to learn in a year, I began to feel doubt about my will to continue the journey.
Though one big impact Ewha Voice had on me was the growth in the ability to ask for help. After consulting with numerous department professors I came to a resolution that regardless of how under-achieving I may seem, continuing is the best practice. And I wanted to put that into action with other people.
The project started from gathering people via student social media and the open KakaoTalk chatroom for Ewhains dedicated to studying artificial intelligence and data science. A total of six people out of nine lasted together until the end.
The name of the project was “Laidback Writing Project,” with the purpose of having all the members keep records of their learnings concerning artificial intelligence so that after a month, the content can comprise a book. The structure was fairly simple; everyone takes note of what they have learned over the course of the week, and share the content on weekly online meet-up. Later, we incorporated a jjak-system by partnering two people to read each other’s achievements and give positive feedbacks in order to have everyone read at least one record of another.
The project persisted for two months in total with a month for everyone reviewing the entire records of oneself and that of others for the sake of editing.
During the project, I wrote what I learned in a blog style, tracking how I feel about the content, the dates I dedicated myself to studying, and the summarized content itself. In week’s intervals, I would collect the summaries and render them all together. Despite being a journalist at Ewha Voice, writing down what I learned in a style other than maps and lists was painstaking. Though it helped me to thoroughly overview my questions that otherwise would have evaporated due to procrastination. I was also able to objectively analyze how stressful I was under the pandemic situation and the sense that I was being left behind with the amount of space I allocated on rants about my insecurities as a student.
However, the best part was that I was able to meet the other five students regularly to share a conversation about the knowledge we were commonly interested in. Thanks to the positive feedback and encouragement, I was able to divert from focusing on my insecurities and begin believing in myself for change. Few noticeable changes are that I wake up around seven in the morning and that I exercise regularly.
After the entire editing process was over which was by February, it took another month for designing the book cover and waiting for the book to be printed. Just a week ago, which was near the end of March, the last two members received their copy.
Currently, I am still studying artificial intelligence through Ewha’s excellent lectures, and plan on initiating Laidback Writing Project once more during the summer with the former participants. New members are welcomed!