AI, an opportunity for students

Artificial intelligence skills are increasingly sought after in the labour market. It’s a way for students to stand out but it’s not always easy to know how to get involved in AI when you aren’t an IT student. Nevertheless, many trainings and coaching sessions exist to develop your abilities in that field.  

The mic.brussels collaborated with the CAD (College of Art & Design), as part of their innovation class. A session about Smart City and AI was set up and students were asked to define and work during 2 months on a use-case on that very topic. The projects were presented at the end of the course.  

We interviewed two students on their project: Nicolas Munting (interior architecture and design) and Philippe de Chirée (graphic design). They shared with us their thoughts on artificial intelligence applied to their professional field, through their project called “Waster”.   

Waster 

Brussels’ inhabitants experience it: with the different colored-bags and days of collection, sorting the waste can be a true headache. Based on this observation, Nicolas and Philippe imagined “Waster, a solution that not only reminds you when to take the trash out but also enables you to scan the pieces of garbage, thus telling you which bag colour is the right one. This project has been designed both into a smartphone app and a dedicated device called “Waster pad”.  It is using AI in the service of environment, enabling citizens to sort their waste more easily. While the project does not have a prototype yet, it looks promising, especially in terms of image recognition leverages. 

Technology indissociable from environmental concerns  

Nowadays, the environmental impact is an important concern throughout the design process of a product. More and more technologies are developed to pursuit that ecological concern. It is now possible for designers to better track materials’ origin and optimize their life cycle, for example.  

Therefore, technology has a role to play in the future of environmental projects. It can help us improve our lifestyle and have a better comprehension of the environment in general. 

Integration of AI in Art & Design sector  

At the mic.brussels, we love to explore AI with non-tech people, combining their specific expertise with the innovative applications of technology. 

Nicolas mentions that there have been interesting examples of AI supporting object design. Designers sometimes make logical or technical mistakes that technology can prevent. Therefore, AI is an interesting challenge for designers professional future. It is helping them get a more intelligent, economic, and ergonomic designing process. 

Philippe shares his view: even if AI can be seen as a controversial subject, it is rather an opportunity for designers to conceive a smarter city, where AI applications are serving citizens’ interests. It should not be perceived as a threat and designer should reassure the users about the transparent use of their data 

AI-trainings for non-IT students 

For their project to be developed, Philippe and Nicolas both agree that they would need a high-qualified web developer or follow a proficient AI training on their own. Even if mastering that complex technology is now the main challenge, they have been able to explore the perspectives offered by AI and realized that this is not impossible to achieve.  

Last year, Phillipe had the opportunity to do an internship in an agency using face recognition to automatically create videos and identify the different elements within those videos. This past experience has been useful since “Waster” involves recognition processes of the different pieces of trash. Indeed, taking part in internships and professional projects involving AI is the best way to get experience in the field. Additional trainings also help to acquire a deeper knowledge and to launch a prototype.  

Artificial Intelligence is not only made for IT students and professionals, it is a transversal knowledge that you can integrate it in many study fields. mic.brussels offers a 4-sessions workshop dedicated to higher education students. That training course will help to learn what is AI and enable you to work on specific use-cases.  

 Project designed by Nicolas Munting and Philippe de Chirée – students at the CAD-Brussels in Year 5 – section INTERIOR ACHITECTURE & DESIGN.  Teacher: Julien Lemaire.”  

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