What is AI and how can you get involved?

The definition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has changed. 

While 50 years ago the term could’ve described any task carried out by a machine, it now refers to the simulation of human intelligence and process. 

From innovative hospital technologies reversing paralysis to driverless taxis in San Francisco, AI presents endless, mind-boggling possibilities. We’ve outlined some of the ways you can get involved with AI, whether you’re studying, refining your skills, or looking for a new hobby. 

What is AI?

There’s so much going on in the world of Artificial Intelligence. Even with popular Internet services including Google releasing different types of AI on a regular basis, there’s still some uncertainty over the final definition of AI.

However, in simple terms, AI stands for machines that can perform human tasks and improve themselves based on information they receive. 

Getting started with AI

Any basic grasp on AI requires human intelligence, creativity, and above all, the ability to use technology. 

If you’re a complete beginner, we’d recommend starting with some introductory coding courses online. Leaning a coding language like Python might seem time-consuming, but it will be invaluable for all your future endeavors with AI.

As you progress, you can move further into machine learning, data science, and AI. Using a portable single-board computer like a Rock is one of the best ways to learn all about coding and AI, at your own pace, with a practical approach.

How much should I already know?

You will need to know a few basic math principles to understand complicated AI, but don’t worry if you haven’t done any math since high school. 

As a minimum, you’ll need to consider:

  • Data can you read, measure, and identify different datasets?
  • Modelling does your idea work well?
  • Context how can you use ML to solve your problem? 
  • Production can you produce a physical model, or should it be online?
  • Improvements – can you fix your model if it goes wrong?

You can find courses and other accessible learning resources online if you need to brush up on your basic math. As long as you persevere, there’s never a time limit on learning how to code. It’s easy to fit it around your usual routine.

Why should you start with AI?

Everyone starts their AI journey on a different path. While some people prefer to learn by watching videos, others might prefer to read books.

Whichever approach you take, it’s important to ask yourself why you’re starting. 

Whether you’d like to make money, invent new things, or make a genuine difference, any reason is valid. You’ll just need to decide and keep it in mind, so that when things start to get tough, you can remind yourself why you started.

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