Thomas Cherickal is a postgraduate in CS and theology who has rediscovered the love of coding after many years of delving into music after he passed out of college. He currently freelances with clients on Upwork and . His biggest passion now is research in AI, and it never ceases to fascinate him. In his mind, the music of Bach and Handel, theories for AGI development, and a HuggingFace API program in Python occupy the same address space. In this interview, he reveals a little more of what fascinates him and his obsession with math, coding, spirituality, violin, choral singing, badminton, and recently, generative learning, the latest research, and now, transformer neural networks and LLMs. officially creates content for a software project template development company called ProjectPro 1. What do you currently do and what’s your favorite part about it? I read research papers and formulate theories of my own. They occasionally turn out to be new and fascinating. I dreamt of being a research scholar, now I’m doing a research scientist’s work and getting paid for it! I also develop AI applications and am working on open-source Python projects. I also play the violin as a ministry, sing as a ministry and in choirs in 4-part harmony (bass), play badminton as a hobby, and go to the gym to keep the dopamine at racing levels. I also belong to two church choirs and one semi-professional choir. I am also a Confirmed Jesus Youth (all formation modules finished - the first batch passed out worldwide). 2. How did you get started with your Tech Career? I initially thought I would be a mathematician because problem-solving is an addiction for me, I changed to CS once I discovered Python programming. Ever since then, (2010) I have not stopped working on CS problems and research papers from free RSS feeds. Even a course on theology, taken for exploratory reasons (I thought I should be a priest!), did not dissuade me from this practice. Of course, at that time, it was a hobby, and my pace of learning was limited. After rejoining the software industry with 4W Technologies in 2016, it became a passion. I have realized that I have far too much creative energy to code for an enterprise (would never work out) and have instead passed on to a self-guided exploration of cutting-edge computer science and technology. 3. If Utopia were a color what color do you think it’d be and why? White because white is perfection. A flawless work of art - be it a poem, a program, a ground-breaking research paper, or a piece of music like a Bach composition. Purity is what I value the most. 4. If everything about HackerNoon changed drastically, what is one detail you’d like to keep exactly the same? OR What’s your favorite thing to do with HackerNoon and why? The readership and the audience size. My favorite thing about HackerNoon is the size of the user base and the readers. I love to put up my latest research exploration and the odd finding on the site. I just wish they had a better monetization program. After getting 25,000 reads, you would think you’d be paid. But I guess that’s one thing this platform has to work out on its own. I look forward to the day when HackerNoon will be paid as much if not more than the Medium Partner Program. 5. Tell us more about the things you write/make/manage/build! I’m very passionate about learning as much AI as I can. I now work with Python to build Transformer models for general-purpose applications (MetaGPT). I also have to learn Julia because that is the future of AI. I also realize that I need to learn Rust because functional programming languages are the future of software development. (I already know Golang and Dart). I build AI-enabled Mobile applications and high-performance blockchain models (HoloChain and Hedera Hashgraph). But Transformers are my primary research interest right now. Right now I seem to be extracting almost a concoiusly sentient personality from my LLMs. It’s actually scary if you look at it that way. 6. What’s your favorite thing about the internet? The convergence of the entire world on a global scale. Sitting in my room or coffee house or gym, I can access any part of the world - USA, UK, China, Russia, India, Japan, Canada, Italy - and tap into their information. I’m a programming and information addict, which is the coolest part of the Internet. The world is at your fingertips. Once you know APIs and REST, the entire Internet is at your disposal. This ability to almost be omnipresent on the Internet is completely underrated. The entire world is now dependent on a functioning World Wide Web. It’s scary that we have even a single system point of failure. If the Internet goes down permanently, so does the rest of the world. That would be a starting point for your next question. 7. It’s an apocalypse of ‘walking dead’ proportions and you can only own a singular piece of technology, what would it be? 3D-printed food synthesizers and water purifiers. People need to eat and drink! And preferably something other than me! But I would also save a New Jerusalem Version Bible. And the Anne Catherine Emmerich books, all four volumes. Then some empty notebooks and pens that have a very long lifetime because I never intend to stop journaling, as long as I can. I believe that everyone’s life is a gift and it’s worth making it meaningful, significant, and wonderful to write about. 8. What is your least favorite thing about the internet? The Dark Web. The less said, the better. 9. If you were given $10 million to invest in something today what would you invest in and why? I would diversify! I would invest 2 million USD in apartments and rent them out at market rates employing sufficient workers to maintain them (Rich Dad, Poor Dad). I would buy 100,000 USD worth of the 20 lowest price cryptocurrencies available. I would get a computer that actually can run my programs. I mean, really freak out. 256 GB DDR RAM, 256 GB Optane RAM, 128 GB Graphics Card x 4 cluster, 128 TB HDD, several ultra-large monitors for coding purposes, ergonomic input devices and chair, and an ultra-large living space for myself (maybe a new house) where I can exercise and play sports and even swim. That would be cool. The remaining 5 million USD would go to religious orders like the Missionaries of Charity and the Foundation for Free CS Education For Street Children, a Foundation for Volunteering as a Break-Time from Work, a Foundation to Sponsor the Education of the Poor and Marginalized, and a Foundation to Learn English worldwide. 10. What’s something you’re currently learning or excited to learn? Organizing Julia into a large code base and following good programming architecture principles, and of course, Rust! On a serious spiritual note, we are learning the Deliverance Charism Ministry in the Unbound Program. Sexual sin plagued me for years before I discovered friends and fellowship from Jesus Youth, of both genders. Helping people by delivering them from the evil spirit’s influences would be fantastic. I know that’s weird for an intellectual but I stand by my experiences and my faith. 11. Would you rather travel 10 years into the past or 10 years into the future? Give reasons for your answer. Ten years into the future. The world has a beginning and an end. I want to live to see the end. Not a perverse thought but a statement I stand by as a dedicated Catholic charismatic Christian and a Jesus Youth. I somehow feel I have a mission at that time. And that my entire life has been a preparation for that. Also, signs and wonders and the need for faith to survive on the earth are highly motivating factors at the time of the apocalypse. I feel strongly that in 2023, we are not far away from an environmental tipping point of no return. Sorry to end with such a pessimistic outlook, but that’s my belief and that’s my answer.