SunstarTV Bureau: Indian-American inventor 15-year-old Gitanjali Rao, has been named by ‘Time Magazine’ as the first ever ‘Kid of the Year’ for her astonishing use of AI-based service to tackle issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction and cyber bullying.
— TIME (@TIME) December 3, 2020
“The world belongs to those who shape it. And however uncertain that world may feel at a given moment, the reassuring reality seems to be that each new generation produces more of what these kids have already achieved: positive impact, in all sizes,” Time said while selecting Gitanjali Rao from more than 5,000 nominees.
Speaking about the beginning of her journey as a scientist and inventor, Rao said, “That was my everyday goal, just to make someone happy. And it soon turned into, how can we bring positivity and community to the place we live? And then when I was in second or third grade, I started thinking about how can we use science and technology to create social change.”
Kindly is one of Rao’s innovations which seeks to achieve this goal. It is an application, as well as a chrome extension that uses artificial intelligence to detect cyber bullying. “You type in a word or phrase, and it’s able to pick it up if it’s bullying, and it gives you the option to edit it or send it the way it is,” Rao explained, adding that she believes this is a way to learn, rather than encourage punitive ways of handling the topic of cyber bullying.
Working on the principal of ‘observe, brainstorm, research, build, communicate’, Rao has collaborated with rural schools, women in STEM organisations, museums all across the world, and bigger organisations like Shanghai International Youth Science and Technology group and the Royal Academy of Engineering in London to run ‘innovation workshops.’