Behind Modex’s blockchain-based technology there’s a young team driven by innovation. A team with cool people passionate about everything they do, people who get to play with the latest technologies in their quest to disrupt various industries and bring about change to the society we live in. Ion Orins is one of these people and his story should be an example for every young developer.
Winner of several digital creativity contests, Ion Orins (19 years old) is currently in his second year of studying Computer Science at the University of Warwick, UK. He has chosen this university for its invested involvement in research, even at an undergraduate level. Ion started learning programming in high school and immediately felt a connection with this subject. His belief that computer science was the right choice has been swiftly reinforced when he participated in a few programming related competitions after the first year of high school.
Ion is one of the two developers behind SmartScope, a project which focuses on convolutional neural networks with the aim to improve the user experience of a conventional optical machine. SmartScope Micro is a microscope based on Artificial Intelligence which classifies the nature of the analyzed material, while SmartScope Macro is a telescope which utilizes the concept of Machine Learning to detect and highlight, in real time, the trajectory of celestial objects. The SmartScope project can also be used in other domains such as biology, medical sector, etc.
How did the Modex story start for our Romanian colleague Ion? “I arrived at Modex just about two years ago. I participated in a hackathon, and one of the judges, who was working at Modex, invited me to do an internship at this company. After a while, I was employed as a part-time developer. My time at Modex has been defined by an array of complex and interesting projects related to a diverse range of areas in software development. During the internship I worked on testing a component of the Modex infrastructure. The next task I engaged in was creating a crop pest detection algorithm using computer vision. After that, I worked on creating an anti-money laundering algorithm for Moneymailme, a money transfer and chat app. Currently I am involved in the development of the PSD2 component in Modex’s banking project together with a team of programmers.”
When asked about the work environment at Modex, Ion says that it’s an energetic, open, and dynamic environment. “Everyone is willing to help each other. Optimising the efficiency of the workflow is often key, as efforts in this direction are being made continuously. The management is heavily involved in promoting both professional development and team building: meet-ups with outsiders, trainings and conferences are far from being unusual.”
With offices in London, Bucharest, and Silicon Valley, Modex provides a dynamic, diverse and inclusive workplace, with equal growth opportunities to all of its employees, regardless of nationality, age, skin, colour, religion, gender identity and expression or sexual orientation. Fairness, respect and commitment are core values which can be found in the company’s philosophy. Besides a creative work environment and multiple personal growth opportunities, Modex encourages its employees’ initiatives and fully supports them in achieving their personal and professional goals.
“The one thing that fascinated me the most while doing the internship was finding out how professional relationships work. The dynamics of a work environment, especially of a start-up, as Modex was back then, were utterly different from anything I have experienced or could have imagined before”, says Ion when speaking about the most important things he has learned at Modex. The internship helped him evolve professionally, but also on the personal level. “First of all, the internship helped me obtain the necessary experience that I needed when I got employed. Secondly, it gave me the confidence that I have chosen the right path and offered me opportunities to meet people that I am currently learning many things from.”
Ion adds: “Modex is a young tech company that likes to experiment with new technologies and has invested in educating both developers and people without tech experience about their uses and benefits. One of Modex’s impressive accomplishments is the Blockchain Database (BCDB), a database which stores data in a safe and trusty blockchain system. In particular, I consider its use in the eConsultare.ro platform quite remarkable, as it allows a form of online voting, while reducing the risk of fraud, and is, quite frankly, a first step in the right direction of democratising the making of public decisions and imposing a degree of transparency inside public administrations.”
If there’s one thing Ion is very passionate about, that’s Artificial Intelligence. We’ve asked him to tell us more about the projects connected to AI he has worked on, and how can AI help us – individuals, but also the society, as a whole – in the future. “I have mainly been working on computer vision related AI applications, as I find it straightforward to demo and easy to engage with. I believe that AI’s main use-case in the near future is making technology more seamless, easier to figure out and interact with, which might be in a stark contrast with the fact that AI is usually considered as one of the more evolved forms of technology. A few related examples that are prevalent even nowadays are personal assistants, recommendation systems and noise reduction technologies, which ironically the better they are, the less noticeable they become.”
Firmly planted in today’s tech environment, Ion also keeps an eye on what lies around the corner. How does the future of blockchain, FinTech, but also AI looks like for our colleague? “I believe that the public sector will benefit the most from blockchain, as it relies on trust, and blockchain is a generator of trust. Regarding FinTech, it is already a very important tool used by many, including myself, on a daily basis and will most probably continue to become more and more popular and versatile. AI’s future could be a bit more complex.”
Ion continues: “The methods used today in machine learning, which is currently the most popular form of AI, imply a number of ethical concerns and dilemmas. It has been more often than comfortable remarked that machine learning algorithms show the tendency to have the same biases and fallacies as us humans, and that their ethics are not as straightforward as we would like to think. However, this kind of technology has nearly infinite potential and its benefits will most definitely outweigh the efforts sunk into creating ethical AI.”
We’ve finished our chat with Ion by asking him to offer a recommendation to young people passionate about technology who want to get an internship or a job with a tech company. His advice was brief, and to the point: “Take opportunities, don’t be afraid to try new things!”