Artificial intelligence, or AI, has quickly become one of the most in-demand and fastest growing fields in technology. It encompasses a wide range of tools and applications, such as machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, robotics, and so on, just to name a few.
Whether you’re a student, a professional looking to pivot careers, or simply someone who wants to know more about AI, there are many opportunities to start and build up your skills in this amazing field. So, where do we begin?
One of the first steps is to try and find an area that you have an interest in / want to specialize in. There are countless resources available to explore the different AI areas and find the one that’s right for you.
For example, you can take some online courses or read some books that can help understand what the different AI areas are and also their applications.
Once you’ve chosen an area, the next step is to start learning the basics. This might involve taking online courses or reading some books that can get you a more in-depth look at what is going on and at what your chosen area of AI looks like if broken down into simple pieces. There are many great options to start, both free and paid. Some very popular options right now are online platforms like Coursera, edX, and Udemy, which all provide a really wide range of AI-related courses.
You can also watch tutorials and workshops, for example on YouTube, like the ones from freeCodeCamp or other very interesting YouTube channels that provide a lot of value, all for free. Or you can also attend local called meetups and classes to learn from experts that you can have contact with.
In addition to learning the basics, another very important step is to focus on experimenting with tools and technologies related to AI. This will help you get a feel for how these tools work (tools which are very requested and in demand) and make you learn how you can use them to create real-world AI applications.
Some popular tools and technologies for AI include popular programming languages like Python and R, libraries like PyTorch and TensorFlow, and also online, prepackaged platforms like Google Colab or Kaggle. Many of these offer free options in their pricing tiers to help you get started without spending any money.
Another great way of learning AI skills is to participate in hackathons or projects. This will give you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned and work on real-world problems, which can be a very valuable learning experience.
You can also collaborate with other students or professionals, which can really fast-forward your way to understanding AI on a deeper level. Many organizations and companies organize hackathons or provide funding for AI-related projects, so it’s really easy to get involved and there are countless opportunities to do so.
Finally, don’t be afraid to seek help from experienced AI professionals. In fact, many people in this field are more than happy to help others learn and grow. So again, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
You have both opportunities to connect with them online or in local events and meetups. You can also join professional organizations or sign up for a mentorship program to have personalized guidance and help.
In summary, learning AI skills requires both foundational knowledge and hands-on experience, with a nice touch being the guidance that others can provide.
By following these steps and being consistent, you can make a difference and besides becoming proficient in AI, also make significant contributions to the field, that is rapidly evolving, so it’s very important to stay up to date with new developments and also continue to learn and grow as you progress in your career.
But you know what’s even better than all of this? This whole piece was created by an AI – yes, that’s true! It’s coming from Chat GPT (as you can imagine, since this is one of the most popular topics in the field of AI today).
But let me explain why I did this. Many people are wondering whether all of these advancements in AI will actually impact real-world jobs that humans currently do. My take is that, as you can see from this video, AI is really just a tool – for now.
I’m sure that throughout the video you have thought that the advice was pretty basic – learn foundational knowledge from books and courses, apply it to real-world projects, and seek guidance from experienced professionals. Pretty boring right?
So, is AI useless? Or better, are the AI tools we have today useless? I don’t think so.
Think about it – you can ask Chat GPT to make a script for a video of yours, and yes, it would provide just a basic script. But basic advice, without a personalized touch, is pretty much useless. However, it can also be the foundation of a great video.
If I were to write this for real for example, I would have probably used these broad concepts – foundational knowledge, applied experience and practice, and guidance from others – as the base of what I would have said.
Yes, I would have added tips from my experience as an engineering student, from my experience working with professors, and from my experience working in the field with actual clients, companies, and professionals.
But the truth is that for me, this very input – the broad idea – can actually be very useful. It can save me a lot of time that I would have had to invest into the making of this, for instance. I’m sure I will use Chat GPT for the first draft of my pieces, or at least some of them, to then expand and fill the gaps with my own experience as a human (but really, are we still humans at this point?).
What I can also say, in addition to what the AI gently offered to you and to me, is that in the future I don’t think we’ll need just technical AI experts.
That is what I am trying to do as a computer engineering student, interested in knowing how AI really works and in shaping it into new tools and forms that can be actually helpful for humanity in the future.
But you, as an economics student, as an accountant, as a local business owner, or really whatever it is that you do, might also be able to benefit from the use and the popularity of AI.
Many non-technical AI tools like Chat GPT are coming up and are constantly getting better over time. So my take is that a lot of work and a lot of job opportunities, will arise from this AI popularity wave.
You can be a Chat GPT consultant for local businesses who want to integrate AI tools into their workflow. You can be someone who works in a company and optimizes the workflow based on its AI tools. Because yes, for example, Notion– a popular note-taking and creative tool – is actually integrating a lot of AI into its systems and can really make an impact in a company’s productivity and working capabilities. In fact, Notion AI – an exciting AI addition – is actually being released as I’m writing this.
However, you get the point – AI skills is a general and broad expression, and in the near future it will mean completely different things. So my advice – my human advice – is to stay curious and focused on what’s happening, since new opportunities are not created just by companies and organizations, but also from single individuals that just have smarter ideas and more optimized solutions to existing problems.
P.s.: guess what? This article is actually a written version of my latest video “How to learn AI skills (and is AI actually stealing our jobs?)” which I adapted from YouTube using Notion AI.