WiSE Words: Imposter Syndrome

I looked around at the women around me. They looked quiet, studious, and were definitely better students than me.

By Lynn Wang

Art by Annika Hanson

There are some moments in life that deserve to be treasured: true love, getting curved up to a passing grade on the organic chemistry exam, and walking into a room full of strangers to discover that you’re all sisters in the same struggle.

I applied for the WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) undergraduate fellowship on a whim, at the end of my final exams last winter. I was sure nothing would come of it; I’ve become pretty desensitized to rejection letters over the years. So when I was accepted, I was delighted— and a little intimidated. I wasn’t sure what to expect. How could I, a lowly biochemistry sophomore, have possibly been competent or formidable enough to gain entry into such a selective program? As I stepped into the elevator for our first luncheon a week ago, I remember thinking that I would be tossed out immediately. A pre-med struggling to keep a 3.0 GPA, with no active research projects, surely did not deserve to be given such a special honor, much less a research grant.

I resolutely give credit to the Goddess of Irony that I walked into a first meeting where the topic of choice was imposter syndrome. Continue reading “WiSE Words: Imposter Syndrome”

Ex Machina’s Artificial Intelligence: What Does It Say About Humanity?

There is no #YOLO in the AI world.

By Julia Arciga

Illustration by Annika Hanson

Ex Machina does something that is rarely achieved well in today’s sci-fi film realm. It blends science with philosophy to bring the viewer to a breaking-point question: What really makes a human human, and can it be truly replicated through Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Que internal existential crisis about what defines humanity

One of the big plot points of the movie is a little something called the Turing Test created by Alan Turing (yes, the same Alan Turing from The Imitation Game). Basically, the Turing Test is a sort of pass-fail for AI—if the AI can pass as a human in conversation, then it’s “en route to true intelligence.” In the movie, the brilliant and scary Nathan— the CEO of a Google-esque company and the creator of the AI— wants to take the Turing Test a step further, and test whether his AI displays a convincing enough human-like cognizance to supercede the fact that the AI is known to be artificial. Continue reading “Ex Machina’s Artificial Intelligence: What Does It Say About Humanity?”