Three years ago, we shared the serendipitous story that catapulted 24-year-old Caymanian Computer Science major Jamal Clarke from Bodden Town, Grand Cayman into an exciting new direction. Serendipity stepped in one summer when Jack Copper, engineer and founder of NeuralStudio SEZC, needed help fixing his island Jeep. It was at Jamal’s father’s workshop that Jack first met Jamal and was so impressed with him, that he invited him to join NeuralStudio through the Enterprise Cayman internship programme with Cayman Enterprise City (CEC).
After just three weeks, Jack offered Jamal a full-time job working on the company’s secret, fascinating artificial intelligence project, where he could fully utilize his computer programming and analytical skills. Now, nearly four years later, we were thrilled to catch up with Jamal on this incredible opportunity, what he’s been up to lately at NeuralStudio and how the Enterprise Cayman Internship Programme has changed things for him.
CEC: Since we last caught up with you, how have things changed for you at NeuralStudio?
JC: I’ve personally taken a different direction in terms of development. I’m now focusing on front-end web development specifically and it’s what I’ll be doing a lot more going forward.
CEC: How did it feel to be part of NeuralStudio’s launch in 2017? Did it go smoothly, and was there anything you learnt from it specifically?
JC: It was very exciting being a part of this new venture. Though everything wasn’t a brand-new business, the venture was based on existing technology, all aspects of the launch and continued development still needed to be executed as if it were a startup from scratch.
The development and launch didn’t have too many unexpected hiccups, some delays occurred which were to be expected purely due to the nature of what was being done. We work with a lot of highly bespoke software solutions along with the use of newer technologies. Overall, being part of the process has been an excellent learning experience for me.
CEC: What can we expect from NeuralStudio next?
JC: You can expect the launch of our new platform this year along with exciting work in the embedded microcontroller space (running models at the edge).
CEC: Thinking back to your internship, would you recommend it to others thinking of participating?
JC: My internship was very eye-opening in terms of what was on offer right here in the Cayman Islands. I think people should participate in the program as it will expose them to a wide array of career path options available here in Cayman, which may not have crossed their mind.
CEC: What advice would you give to someone trying to decide if the internship programme is right for them?
JC: View the list of offerings, view the companies, and the industries they are in, and find one which piques your interest. Find out more and just go for it. There’s a lot on offer, the most important thing is getting some experience in anything you have any remote interest in. Then you’ll know if it’s worth moving forward if you want to do that after spending some time doing it.
CEC: What’s your favourite part about living and working in Cayman?
JC: It’s home! I grew up here, although I left for a few years to attend university. It's home and that’s the best part!
CEC: When you left for university, did you think that you would be able to work in the field you wanted to when you came back?
JC: Actually, no. I thought I would have to do help desk work which isn’t as exciting. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s not for me.
CEC: What’s your favourite part of the CEC community?
JC: There are many exciting things happening in such a condensed space. Albeit, not so condensed as of recent times with the current state of the world. But having a community like this presents a great opportunity to meet and speak with very interesting people.
CEC: Do you have any industry predictions for 2021? What would you like to see?
JC: As far as predictions, increased adoption of all things digital due to the current state of the world. Luckily NeuralStudio is positioned in the right sector in the technology space.
The AI space is predicted to grow exponentially over the coming years. I’m very interested to see the increased use of AI every possible industry along with the unique applications.
Like I spoke about before, the microcontroller space and edge computing which is basically using small computers to do the computing for AI and other things closer to where the data is collected. For example, if you have a censor, the microcontroller would be next to the censor then the AI would do the processing and computing right next to the data. The result will be delivered faster. So that’s edge computing. That’s what we’re getting into now at NeuralStudio.
I’d also like to make a mention of crypto currencies and blockchain technology, it’s becoming more mainstream and I’m excited to see what that leads to.
If you’re interested in the Cayman Enterprise City Internship Programme, we invite you to get in touch. The programme is open to Caymanians between 18 and 25 and placements run for two to three months. To find out more about the Internship Programme click here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!