Meeting Tanmay Bakshi & Programming in Swift

Today we were very kindly invited by Apple to meet Tanmay Bakshi, a 13-year-old developer from Canada who is the world’s youngest IBM Watson programmer. IBM Watson is an intelligence engine which handles artificial intelligence amongst other things – a sort of super computer.

Tanmay is on a mission to reach 100,000 new developers to inspire them to code, by the time he is 15. He inspired us with his story: he created a very popular time tables app aged nine and by age 12 he was working with IBM and Apple.

James Potter (Director of Digital Strategy at BGS) and I brought a small group of girls from the computer science club down to London on the train for the day. After a presentation from Tanmay, we joined a workshop.

In the workshop Tanmay led us through how to create our very own iOS apps with Swift. We created one which would predict whether a person would be male or female based on their name. To do this, we trained IBM Watson with 7,000 names. Although we didn’t quite have enough time to finish our app in the session, we tested Tanmay’s app with one of girls’ names, curious at what Watson would predict. After a few hiccups – the app eventually returned the correct answer.

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