A writer’s quest begins: AI, open source, and a ton of unanswered questions

What’s it like to devote your life to teaching machines how to think?

Over the last several months, I’ve been obsessed with this question.

Before I brew my morning coffee, it’s there. When I eat my lunch, it’s there. Snack time at my desk, it’s there. Dinner with my wife and many pets (3 dogs and 4 cats), it’s there. In bed, trying to fall asleep, it’s there.

It doesn’t go away.

So, I guess it makes sense that I’m devoting the next several months of my life to researching and writing about it with my colleague, Brent Simoneaux.

And that’s why I am starting this series of posts. It’s going to document my research, my findings, my questions, my attempts at answers, and my occasional ineptitude in deciphering all the technical aspects that go into artificial intelligence research.

A little bit about me: I’m a writer and editor at Red Hat.

Red Hat is the premier provider of open source software solutions for enterprises.

Some of you may wonder why I’m researching and writing about AI when I work at an enterprise tech company.

Well, it’s because Red Hat cares about open source, and it wants to tell the world about all the cool stuff that’s happening in the world because of open source.

And, right now, one of the coolest things happening is open source AI research.

A few years back, Red Hat launched a film series on a variety of topics happening in the world of open source, titled Open Source Stories. These films have received a huge amount of attention, not only in viewership and news coverage, but they’ve also won some awards.

Open Source Stories is now moving beyond film and into the realm of longform narrative journalism (for more on this, check out Brent’s latest post).

Brent and I are developing a limited series of articles under the Open Source Stories umbrella on open source AI research that will be released in April of 2017.

This means that we have only a few months to do as much research as we can, interview as many folks as possible, and write a ton of compelling words.

It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be stressful. And it’s going to be educational.

Which is why I am also doing these posts. Every other week, I’ll discuss this research journey. And, hopefully, I’ll get comments from you all out there on what I’m getting right and what I’m way off base on.

Because I need your help.

Also, for those neophytes like myself who are interested in AI, this will also serve as a resource repository.

I’m looking forward to posting my findings and hearing what you all think.

Now, let the epic quest begin…