17-year-old Zvezdin Bessarabov: People have to develop their creativity, machines can do everything else

Photo: dnevnik.bg

He dreams of making a spectacular discovery in science which would help save mankind from an imminent threat – as if to justify his name (“zvezda” in Bulgarian means “a star”), placing him among the stars since his birth. He is a 17-year-old Zvezdin, a student at the National High School of Mathematics, a thinker, a discoverer, and a visionary.

Recently, Zvezdin Bessarabov won the prize at the International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world's largest science and engineering competition for high-school students. Thanks to the Mawhiba Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity of the King of Saudi Arabia, he will be able to choose a university where to continue his education. In his work presented at the competition, the talented boy looks into the topic of cryptocurrencies, whose transfers are presumably publicly available. On the basis of this information and using artificial intelligence, he proposes a tool for their more accurate forecasting – how their price will change in the future, what interest they will generate.

Photo: cryptodnes.bg

In my very first lesson in informatics at school in the 8th grade, I realized that with only a few lines of code one can create a simple computer program”, says Zvezdin Bessarabov about his initial experiments at scientific discovery. “I realized it was not impossible to make programs, developments, appliances, and that's what triggered my passion - the opportunity to create. So I first made several computer games and one of them I published in an Android app store. And then I invented a machine that memorizes the user's handwriting and can write a text on a piece of paper using a pen. People have long forgotten to use their hand, but in this way they can regain the value of handwritten texts without the need to write the same thing hundreds of times, for example, wedding invitations where handwriting always warms up the heart”.

Photo: Courtesy of Zvezdin Bessarabov

The young inventor had the chance to be immersed in one of the most exciting places in the world of science at CERN where scientists, with the help of the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator (LHC), try to unravel the origin and fundamental laws of the universe. “All people there, without exception, are smarter than you, which is very inspiring, because it motivates you and gives you hope for the future of mankind. That's why it was of great importance for me to meet scientists of this magnitude and to see how they solve the real problems of science”, Zvezdin says with excitement about his internship at CERN.

Photo: Courtesy of Zvezdin Bessarabov

He believes the global problems that are increasingly affecting us are related to environmental pollution, including the pollution of oceans, global warming, the inefficient social policy in many parts of the world. Yet politicians continue to neglect the dangers to humanity and do not consider science to be a priority. It is only in the hands of scientists, however, to prevent the irreversible catastrophe we are headed for, he says firmly.

“Steven Hawking was quite realistic when he was advising us to start seeking a new planet – if people keep ignoring the global problems in the world, they may easily have to leave the Earth because too many irreversible processes have already been triggered”, says Zvezdin Bessarabov and also predicts the future. "In five or ten years, almost all jobs will be occupied by robots or replaced by artificial intelligence. That is why students need to prepare themselves for the needs of the new world - not by continuing to memorize facts and learning to do repetitive activities, but by developing creativity, because that’s the only thing automation cannot supersede. In this sense, I hope that people will always try to create something new, because that is the meaning of their existence. And everything else that they can do is already possible to be performed by the machines.”

English Rossitsa Petcova

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