It is an understatement to say that the field of artificial intelligence is developing rapidly. It seems just a few years ago, AI was a dream of science fiction, and now it is a fact of everyday life. Almost everyone encounters an AI tool over the course of a regular day, whether they conduct an AI-driven web search or fall victim to AI-powered marketing or even use an AI business solution for infrastructure, cybersecurity or customer service.
As AI grows and spreads, it is becoming ever more important to understand how this tech works and how it can be leveraged in successful business strategies. Short of going back to school for a degree in AI programming, you should do what you can to learn about AI — and here’s how.
Take an Online Class
The fastest and most straightforward way to learn any new skill is to enroll in an online course. There are thousands of classes available online that teach artificial intelligence; you can find classes that explain the fundamentals of AI, like the different types of AI and what AI can accomplish, and you can find courses that walk you through creating your own AI algorithms and programs. If you can find a course from a prestigious institution, you might consider pursuing an artificial intelligence certificate, which will boost your qualifications for certain jobs. Most employers are pleased to see online education certifications and programs on your resume, as it demonstrates your eagerness to continue learning and improving as you move through your career.
Use an AI Solution
Purely hands-on learning doesn’t always work with AI because concepts in this field are so complex, but it is important to experience AI in action to understand how it works for end users. To that end, you should look for an AI solution that suits your needs in some way and use it frequently to see AI working in the real world.
There are all sorts of AI tools you can use in business or in your personal life. For example, you might take advantage of AI software in customer service in the form of chatbot, or you might look into tools that help you audit and improve cybersecurity. At home, you can interact with smart assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Siri, who are powered by AI. Once you have an idea of what AI can do, you can look into building one for yourself.
Focus on the Math Principles
Machine learning is built on math. While many software developers use functions from online libraries to avoid doing the math themselves, learning the math principles behind AI and applying them appropriately will greatly help you understand how AI works and how you can make it better. There are three branches of mathematics to practice in your AI studies:
Linear algebra. This math helps AI solutions generate new ideas by abstracting data.
Calculus. Mathematical modeling is used by AIs to interpret data and make decisions. Differential calculus, multivariate calculus and integral calculus all assist with modeling.
Probability. Probability theory is essential for teaching AIs how to handle uncertainty.
Learn a Programming Language
It is impossible to create an AI without learning programming. While you can cut your teeth on any programming language, Python is the language of choice for those working in AI. Python has a number of beneficial features for programming beginners and beginners in the AI space. Most notably, this programming language boasts an intuitive syntax that reads almost like natural language. What’s more, there is a massive number of libraries for Python codes, to include a few dedicated specifically to AI. Thus, you can throw together an AI algorithm in an afternoon or two if you are proficient in Python.
Work to Improve Your AI Solution
Creating an AI solution and creating an AI solution that people want and need are two different tasks. Almost anyone can do the former, but to accomplish the latter, you need to consistently improve your AI tool, working with its target audience to make the AI as smart and capable as possible. AI is relatively new, which means your education in AI will need to continue. Having an AI of your own to tinker with will help you stay involved in AI innovation, now and into the future.