Have you increased your understanding of AI along with me? Are you encouraged or interested in studying more about artificial intelligence? Where do you do that? Where does it begin? Where does it end?
My colleague Steven Mc Auley came to AI through psychology. Does that seem counterintuitive? I guess it does a bit. Why does psychology matter when it comes to AI?
Daniel Goldman has a few thoughts in his article “The Psychology of Artificial Intelligence.”
“True AI, also known as artificial general intelligence or AGI…And that subfield would benefit greatly from greater interest by psychologists, and better communication between computer scientists and psychologists.”
Why? Well if AI is on par with humans then does it stand to reason that it will also suffer the same ailments as humans?
“Mental illness in machines will be just as much a problem as it is in humans.” — Daniel Goldman
I never thought of that! Did you?
So no matter where you start or what your industry or specialty or education is, there is a way to connect it to the advancement of AI. Maybe you aren’t going to be studying AI but you can use it to improve your business. If you are in the service industry, how can you serve your customers better? If you are an accountant, how can you implement the best practices of AI in your programs? There is an overlap somewhere.
How do I start studying artificial intelligence?
I took this from the perspective of someone new to the topic — just like me. These are a ton of free resources for beginners to the topic of AI, and who want to learn the foundational elements of it.
Devon Sun shares his top ten books as illustrated here, as well as sharing his reviews and recommendations.
Now I am a bit biased as “Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence” is written in part by my former professor Ajay Agrawal whom I have a great deal of respect for, alongside Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb.
Steven Mc Auley suggests the following book as the first step to understanding. “Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” by Max Tegmark, as it addresses his topic of human-centred AI and why this matters to and for everyone.
Or you can start with the Website AI Playbook — intended to help newcomers (both non-technical and technical) begin exploring what’s possible with AI.
Another good resource, that covers the general concepts of AI on Youtube, is “AI, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning: A Primer and The Promise of AI.”
But perhaps my best find? You can learn from Iron Man himself! True!
There is actually a new YouTube show “The Age of AI” hosted by Robert Downey Jr. and while it felt very showy at first, contains some interesting highlights.
For those that intend to go into programming or developing, it is a broad field so where do you start? AI covers many areas and very deep areas of computer science, mathematics, hardware design, and even biology, anthropology, and psychology. If you want to be a creator then….
Which university is best for Artificial Intelligence?
Traditionally we would consider offline universities, but if we are joining Industry 4.0 then it is best to go online where courses can be accessed by anyone and everyone. A great start is the “AI for Everyone” by Andrew Ng on Coursera to kick things off.
The core point here and one that resonates for me is that “AI is not only for engineers”. Business — all business — leaders will be affected by the rise of AI. So every business leader needs to know the basics. Incidentally, this is the course that I signed up for. It is broken down into four relevant segments and you can learn:
- What is AI — here I had a head start thanks for the AI journal!
- Building AI projects — relevant to my experience as a project manager
- Building AI in your company — how to translate what AI means to your business and your projects
- AI and society — how it impacts our every day and what you need to know
It covers all the basics of understanding and allows the learner to go away with some knowledge that can propel AI implementation within their own company but only as it aligns with the overall strategy. Not arbitrability as is often the case.
How long does it take to learn AI?
The course is approximately five hours and can give you a basic foundation but realistically like any learning, it can take much longer for a fundamental understanding of and application of AI.
The standard rule for creators, programmers, and developers to gain expertise is anywhere between 1–5 years. The issue here is that AI is developing at such a rate that university courses — even online courses — are having trouble keeping up and sharing relevant use cases. Most content has already changed by the time you are in year 2!
As with any subject how much time you commit, will impact how fast you learn and so if your industry is about to undergo change and adopt AI, faster is better!
What skills do you need for AI?
The distinction here, it really depends on whether you want to develop AI or implement AI. For developing AI and being a part of the programming game, the three areas or skills that consistently came up were as follows:
- Math: statistics, probability, predictions, calculus, algebra, Bayesian algorithms, and logic.
- Science: physics, mechanics, cognitive learning theory, language processing.
- Computer science: data structures, programming, logic, and efficiency.
Which is the best programming language for AI?
Again if we are talking about programming, there are a few languages that seem to come up in my research. It seems the top language commonly used for AI projects is Python. Python is considered to be in the first place in the list of all AI development languages due to its simplicity.
I am not a programmer and nor do I intend to be, but if I had to have a conversation about it, I now know that it is a combination of math, science, and computer science, and that Python is the most commonly used programming language.
The impact of AI on business, everyday business, is what keeps me poised to keep learning. When digital transformation first came into play, it was the same. I just about got on top of how digital can simplify and increase our impact in the workplace. Now digital tools are integrated into every aspect of our lives, and that took less than 10 years. AI takes it to the next level and attention must be paid or any of us can easily fall behind.
As I am a project manager by trade this is especially useful when looking for experts to help my projects succeed, to analyze possible solutions, and where we may need to hire experts of specialists.
That’s it for section 3. Section 4, starting Day 14, is a deep dive into these same learnings. Stay tuned — I will continue to share my progress as I complete the journal!