A Story about 14-year-old Tanmay Bakshi – An AI Expert for IBM

At first sight, Tanmay Bakshi is nothing like the 14-year-old children you might meet.

But, do you know that that little guy is a computer programmer, artificial intelligence expert, and even multifaceted tech individual?Moreover, he has developed apps, hosted a TEDx Talk, published a book, and also taken the floor at IBM Watson summits around the world.

Feel curious why he is so talented? Is there any secret behind him? Let’s find out now!

His childhood

Have you ever thought that a 5-year-old boy ignored stacking Legos or played make-believe to learn how to code? That was Tanmay Bakshi.

He told CNBC that he was excited to study how computers might genuinely do anything. Furthermore, he wanted to know what happened behind the back-end, learn how he could control the computers and guide them what to do as a child.

His father Puneet Bakshi recognized his son’s budding curiosity, and he decided to teach his son how to program. From that point, Bakshi started reading books on programming and using the Internet on his own.

When he was seven, he created his own YouTube channel and uploaded some tutorials on coding and web development. His mission was to help eager children and beginners who lacked knowledge about programming and machine learning. The most interesting thing is that his videos always received thousands of responses from people all over the world. Today, his channel has more than 200,000 subscribers.

When he was eight, he taught himself how to develop apps for iOS. And his first app, TTables, which teaches multiplication, was accepted into the Apple store when he was nine. However, he realized that he lost his interest in programming since the tech, as he thought, was limited. It seemed that when he put something in, it would be old-fashioned.

IBM – a new turn of his life

Everything changed when Tanmay Bakshi was eleven. One day, when he was uploading his video on YouTube, he caught a documentary presenting IBM Watson, a “question answering” machine, and how it played Jeopardy.

This is the first time he knew what was called artificial intelligence. And soon, he turned his interest in IBM Watson and AI. His first Watson app, called “Ask Tanmay,” was created within one week. It answers questions by evaluating the best possible answers before giving a response.

After that, he stumbled across an IBM service named Document Conversion, which was in alpha at the time. Its main aim is to transform documents from one format like a PDF to another format like HTML. The most exciting thing was that he discovered a bug within minutesand posted his results on his Twitter.

Can you guess what’s next?

Some technical IBMers took note and contacted Bakshi. Even, two initial contacts became his mentors and supported him in cooperating with IBM.

From there, IBM has provided Bakshi lots of speaking chances at conferences that the company has hosted. Two of remarkable conferences that made him became the most important speaker was the Interconnect Conference and the IBM Developer Conference in Bengal.

According to Rob High, his current mentor and IBM Watson’s chief technology officer, this 14-year-old boy had a big desire to learn everything about AI. Together, both have organized Facebook Live sessions and hosted different speaking engagements.

After a speech at the 2017 Knowledge Summit in Dubai, he gave a BIG surprise to everyone in the conference room due to his expertise in AI and also received the Knowledge Ambassador Award. Even, he attained an IBM Cloud champion and became an honorary IBM Cloud adviser later.

His new project

Tanmay Bakshi latest project deals mainly with the neural network, which is a computer system intimated the human brain and nervous system.

He judges that the artificial neural networks are beneficial in the healthcare field. Besides, he points out when people tend to make errors in this industry; this diminishes a range of medical processes. That’s why he affirms that healthcare indeed needs the impact of AI.

Currently, Bakshi has involved with a healthcare-based project named the Cognitive Story, which is also led by his mentor Rob High and IBM business partners Darwin Ecosystem.

A quadriplegic girl named Boo was the first person who joined in this project.The team is creating a device that can scan her brain waves while Bakshi’s part is to avail deep learning algorithms to comprehend Boo’s electroencephalography brain waves and transform them into natural languages. By this way, she is able to communicate.

Up until now, she can say either “yes” or “no” in binary codes. And the team is going to expand their use of AI to other questions.

Tanmay Bakshi also expresses his idea that doctors should see AI as the most powerful tool. He said that there are new pieces of information coming out on subjects like drug or cancer discovery every week. If specialists can read one page per minute, they cannot finish all the information. Moreover, they take more time to understand, interpret, and apply it to their diagnoses and treatments.

However, AI can do this. It can read millions of documents within seconds, comprehend it and explain it in a way that we can understand. That’s why Bakshi affirms that AI is actually the helpful, professional tool for doctors.

His future

To complete what he said above as well as furthering his learning process, Bakshi plans on attending a college. But, he hasn’t made any decisions on which college. When it comes to his future job, although he’s also considering IBM, Microsoft, Apple, and Google, he said that he might be beginning his own company so that he can focus on AI 100%.

No matter what he is going to do, this 14-year-old boy always gives his BIG thanks to his parents, who had nurtured him when he was young.

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