“Reach out and help others. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. Be a vessel, be the change, be the difference, or be the inspiration. Shine your light as an example. The world needs more of that”GERMANY KENT
Erin Smith is the true example and demonstration of the words of “Germany Kent”. She is a true inspiration for the young generation, but what made her distant from other teenagers. Erin’s courage and love for humanity are rarely found.
Who is Erin?
The blonde-haired and blue-eyed activist proved to be a fireball with an infectious smile and the ability to connect with anyone she meets. Founder Erin Smith has been on a roller coaster since she found her company, Faceprint Technologies Inc., which has made her a young entrepreneur as well.
Early Life & Childhood
Erin Smith was born in the suburbs of St. Charles, Illinois, on December 26, 1999. She is the middle child, with two older sisters and two younger brothers.
In 2001, her family moved from Chicago’s outskirts to the quieter city of Lenexa, Kansas. On her first day of high school, Erin found that she had a natural affinity for math and science. And more than that, she discovered that she liked those subjects a lot more than her classmates did.
Erin’s favorite activity was conducting experiments with her mother in the kitchen. This may not have been a common sight for most households, but Erin enjoyed it immensely.
She was a curious girl fond of science and experiments since childhood. When she graduated from high school, her first step was to study computer science further at Simon Fraser University.
Entering the Startup World
In 2016, a 19-year-old college student interested in science and technology, Erin Smith, came across a YouTube video of Michael J. Fox describing his diagnosis and treatment for Parkinson’s disease. His message was clear: The best way to slow or prevent Parkinson’s is early detection and prevention. So why didn’t anyone monitor people at risk?
Smith decided to do something about it. But she noticed another different thing: Fox’s cold and distant smile.
During the same period, she was obsessed with monitoring the faces and facial expressions just because of her favorite show, LIE TO ME. She observed the correlation between Parkinson’s disease symptoms and facial expressions.
Being the curious scientist she was, Erin reached out to many doctors and degenerative disease specialists in her local area about this. They had also made similar observations in their patients, years before an official diagnosis was made.
Smith created a company called FacePrint, which developed an AI-powered tool that detects changes in brain activity that indicate Parkinson’s—and potentially other neurological diseases—in their earliest stages.
FacePrint App generates a stream of images and emesis designed to obtain specific feelings, such as happiness. The expressions are then compared with the patient’s faces with Parkinson’s disease and the faces of healthy individuals.
From now on
“I wanted to show that anyone can make a difference,” she says. In 2018, she started studying computer science and neuroscience at Stanford University which helped further solidify her ambition to find a cure for Parkinson’s and help people with disabilities. Now she’s taking those lessons in technology—and her experience as a Thiel Fellow—to build projects like Monitor Changes in the brain that change how we process and interpret brain imaging information.
Award & Honors
- 2019 Forbes 30 under 30
- 2019 AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador
- 2019 Thiel Fellow
- 2019 WIRED Health Startup of the Year
- 2018 Global Teen Leader
- 2018 Davidson Fellow
In many ways, Erin is an inspiration for all teenagers. Everyone who knows her says she’s not just a regular teenager; she puts herself out there for everyone in need and works day and night to ensure that no one is left without proper care.
Compassion doesn’t cost anything, but it can make all the difference in someone’s life. Just a little compassion for the world and some interest in learning can result in huge accomplishments.