This Spring, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is proud to welcome, among other new and young specialists, Armen Inants as a professor of Artificial Intelligence (AI). To give AUA students and faculty an opportunity become acquainted with Prof. Inants better, below the Zaven & Sonia Akian College of Science & Engineering (CSE) has featured a short interview:
Q: First of all, we want to congratulate you on your new appointment. Was your decision to study Computer Science was predetermined? And what is your biggest motivation that pushes you forward in your career?
A: I have relatives who specialized in mathematics or just acceled in the subject, so I can say that my inclination towards mathematics was somehow predetermined. Computer Science and programming have been my hobbies since high school, so I started working at a start-up company in Yerevan even while I was studying for my Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics at the Yerevan State University. Afterward, I received an opportunity to study Management in Information Technologies for my Master’s Degree in Greece. I became very interested in knowledge management in information technologies and artificial intelligence which became the foundation of my scientific research.
Q: Are mathematics and computer science your only interests?
A: No. Besides science, I’ve always been interested in languages and philosophy. I can say that artificial intelligence helped me combine all my interests in one since it is a multidisciplinary and diverse field that has roots in philosophy and linguistics, as well as mathematics and programming. This diversity exactly is the most exciting part of the field I am studying. And now people are discussing ideas like a new industrial revolution with artificial intelligence. I agree that the development of this field can be life-changing, and we can already see some examples of robots doing human jobs.
Q: How would you evaluate AUA and Armenian students’ intellectual abilities and enthusiasm?
A: Well, it’s too soon to have a strong opinion about the students, but I’ve noticed that some of them are really interested in what they study. My feeling is that some will become great professionals. This thought is very inspiring for me. As for AUA, its atmosphere and facilities are surprisingly and pleasantly different from other local universities and institutions. So I am happy to be a part of AUA. (By the way, this is my first teaching experience.) Hopefully, the faculty will continue to develop further and I can contribute to that development.
Q: What advice would you give your students? Are there certain steps to follow or ones to avoid taking?
A: Based on my experience, I’d advise my students to always follow their interests and never give them up even when they don’t have time or even they have chosen other fields to become professionals in. On their way, they will probably discover that what they do may be converged with their hobbies and special interests, especially if they decide to specialize in AI.