Data Matters

   

A young Kashmir data scientist currently serving a British crypto-currency platform said the AI will make lives easier but will raise the bar for classrooms that must focus on creativity and skill, Umaima Reshi reports

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Kashmir-born data and machine learning scientist, Eizat Mushtaq is among the few Kashmiris based in England, who deals with digital currency automation and has been working at a cryptocurrency platform, Luno. She is currently working on customer acquisition and regulation of the cryptocurrency for the AI-driven platform.

Digital currency is virtual money and has become an asset that is fundamentally deposited or reciprocated on digital systems over the internet. There are multiple virtual currencies including cryptocurrency, which is transacted for the last many years. However, a number of countries do not see it as a model that can be adopted as legal tender.

A huge group of data scientists including a few from Kashmir are trying to regulate this currency in the larger run, to get it as a part of evolution.

Background

Having a very usual Kashmiri background, Eizat is among the three daughters in her family. Schooled at Linton Hall, Rajbagh, Srinagar, she opted for non-medical in her higher secondary and completed her twelfth grade at Mallinson Girls School, Srinagar. She qualified for her engineering in Information Science from Acharya Institute of Technology, Bangalore. In order to pursue her career in the same field, she applied to US universities and got admission to California State University, Los Angeles, where, later, she got a job too.

“My first interaction with a computer was when I and my sisters summed up our four years of pocket money so that we could buy a laptop. And that’s where the journey started. I started understanding basic things like, how Google works, how to use the internet, how to download stuff, or how to run a file,” Eizat said.

For their father, it was challenging to decide, which one of them should fly abroad for studies. One of the key factors that helped her manage her career path was her father’s insistence that students must have a balance between studies and life.

Eizat Mushtaq (Data Scientist)

Interactions with Data

Eizat said her main interactions with data started in the third year of her college. “There were some aspects that I did not like, such as the development of apps and websites. But what I liked about data science was that there is enough autonomy in it,” Eizat said. “We are given particular data and asked to gain information about XYZ from it. So, it is our job to figure out those things by using statistical methods or tools to make it work.”

After accomplishing her Master, Eizat went for several internships in the USA, stayed there for approximately five years and then moved to the UK for a job.  “I wanted to explore distinctive concepts and options in my life. Once I started applying for jobs, I got the relevant companies, conforming to my culture and nature,” she said.

The Crypto

At Luno, Eizat works to understand user data, marketing strategy, search business, and how to optimize it in order to have customer satisfaction.

With regard to the currency being authentically digitalized with AI evolution, Eizat stated that some people do think that digital money is not real money but it is a technological evolution and it can co-exist with the existing structure of money. “It should not be considered a conflict but just a feasible exchange,” she said, admitting that ups and downs are part of the process.

Eizat said that cryptocurrencies are unregulated in most places because governments are resisting and people hesitate in transacting in digital currencies. “If someone buys something in rupees or pounds, tomorrow that will be bought in bitcoins or Ethereum, but only when it will get regulated,” Eizat said, “Most of the companies are working with financial banks to make the currency more regulated so that the assets of people remain safe. Once that trust is achieved, then people will be open to it.”

The Artificial Intelligence

The young data scientists said that artificial intelligence (AI) is just a tool for perfection and managing speed in work that takes time when handled by human beings. Humans are original creators and create original art inspired by many things, unlike AI which creates art by differentiating the best works of different artists. “AI should be seen as a vacuum cleaner that helps individuals to save this time for more productive work,” she said.

The young scientists said that AI is currently an evolving story. It should be seen as a child who doesn’t know anything. “Any AI model has lines of code to understand things. Like kids are trained to walk, eat or learn things. Similarly, the machine understands how to work and operate, by degrees. These models feed on data. They adapt calculations, data, and function accordingly,” she said.

Automation

Eizat said the automation is the basic goal of computers or technology and the objective is to make human life easier. “Earlier, we had an issue with transportation as it would take hours to reach a particular destination. Now it takes an hour or so and one can literally be sitting on a flight that’s operating on autopilot to reach one destination to another,” Eizat said.  “Earlier we used a broomstick to clean our homesteads, then we had vacuum cleaners but now we have a vacuum cleaner that is helped by AI to clean itself as well. The basic work of artificial intelligence is to achieve some human capabilities in a superior way.”

Eizat is one of the scientists that believe that AI will impact the education sector negatively. With AI offering the basics of education, the classroom can focus on creativity and skill. A classroom can make situations challenging to help students think better and be creative. “

If a student uses automation; it is okay as long as it is ethical. All we need to do is raise the implementation game,” she added.

Eizat anticipated that coding and computer science will soon become a skill rather than a degree. “It is better and more efficient to learn coding in the early days, as technology is integrating and incorporating with every particular field,” she asserted.

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