There’s a lot of hype around AI but it is sometimes hard to know where to start learning. There are a lot of resources out there and we will try to cover the best of them for whatever your needs are.
If you don’t yet know what is AI, I suggest you read this post that explains it in simple words.
What are you looking for?
Before you begin this journey, it’s important to set some expectations so you don’t get disappointed. If you are hoping to build a virtual assistant that will handle your groceries, drive you to work and interact with your customers for you then you are bound to get a somewhat disappointed. Current state of the art is narrow artificial intelligence, not general artificial intelligence. This means we can only build specific applications for example a voice recognition system, or a self-driving car, but you won’t be able to build Iron Man’s Jarvis quite yet.
Next thing you could ask yourself is why are you doing this for? Are you just curious or do you actually want to build something cool or make money of this? If you have an idea in mind, the best thing might be for you to research only that as you might lose yourself studying AI.
Artificial Intelligence field
As you might know, AI has a lot of fields you could get in to. You can try to be a jack of all trades or be a specialist in one of the fields. You could look into one of the following fields:
- Natural Language Processing: from chatbots to machine translation
- Computer Vision: object detection, image classification and more
- Machine Learning: Data, data and more data analysis
- Deep Learning: is actually a part of Machine Learning but it leverages computer power to build deep neural networks do much more complex predictions
- Robotics & self driving cars (no need to explain this right?)
- Reinforcement learning: Model the reality as an agent that interacts with its environment using rewards to decide which is the best next move to do
- Unsupervised learning: Teaching a computer to think without examples
Which are the top influencers?
Facebook, Google and a few more are leading R&D efforts in AI which has made it a field in constant development. It is sometimes hard to keep up with all the new stuff but luckily there are some influencers that can help us keep up. Here is a short list of the main ones:
- Siraj Raval — Teaches AI through Youtube & The School of AI: Youtube channel @sirajraval
- Andrew NG — Stanford & Coursera: www.andewng.org @AndewYNg
- Yann LeCun — Director of AI Research: http://yann.lecun.com @ylecun
- Fei Fei Lin — Stanford & Google: @drfeifei
- Jason Brownlee — Researcher: https://machinelearningmastery.com @TeachTheMachine
- Francois Chollet — Keras creator: @fchollet
- Adrian Rosebrock — Pyimagesearch: http://pyimagesearch.com @PyImageSearch
Stay up to date
You can also read about the latest AI news and advances in your email. Here is a list of curated newsletters anyone in AI should be subscribed to:
Which are the best online courses?
Perhaps following blogs and tweets isn’t enough for you. There are a lot of great AI courses you can take, some of them are even free. It is recommended to have a programming & maths prior knowledge before you dig in (it’s even better if you know Python!).
Some of the most popular and advanced courses are in:
- Udacity: Has AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Self-driving car nanodegrees
- Coursera: Andrew Ng’s course is one of the most popular courses, ideal for beginners
- Stanford: ‘Introduction to Artificial Intelligence’ free online course is another great place to start
Presential courses and conferences?
Need to actually see another human being with the same interests? Attend a conference, meetup or take a presential course.
Siraj Raval is rolling out a worldwide Deans program for his School of AI in order to teach AI to everyone who’s interested. Check out if there’s a Meetup or Facebook group organizing a meetup near you.
Some of the best AI conferences are:
You can also check for academies teaching presential courses near you such as Botia which teaches AI in Latam (in company and for open to the public).
Ready to work?
If you already know at least the basics and want to get hands on? Kaggle is one of the best places to go. It hosts competences and has a large variety of datasets and examples extremely useful to dive right into action.