How to Learn Artificial Intelligence: AI Online Courses and More
Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), we see breakthroughs in technology almost every day. Learning artificial intelligence is the key to understanding everything from self-driving cars to the latest advances in cyber security, social media, and facial recognition software. One or more AI courses could get you the AI skills you need for one of the best jobs in tech.
You can become a data scientist, data analyst, UX designer, web developer, AI researcher, or software engineer by mastering AI. The possibilities are endless, but only if you keep up with the latest computer science news and advice and develop a set of AI skills appropriate to your career goal.
In this guide to AI, we’ll cover what artificial intelligence is, what AI technology is used for, and how you should go about learning artificial intelligence. To get you started on your educational journey, we also provide a selection of online artificial intelligence courses that you can take right now.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
The term artificial intelligence refers to the process of creating machines with human intelligence and understanding capabilities. This means building applications and products to mimic human thought processes. The goal of AI is to make machines sensitive enough to human situations that they can analyze problems and make decisions like human beings do.
The most common examples of AI are Siri and Alexa. These automated digital assistants offer great evidence of how far AI has come. You can use them to organize your schedule, set up meetings, search for anything, and even play music.
But the wide world of artificial intelligence reaches far beyond the voices in your smart device. The diversity of AI can be broken down into five categories.
- Interactive. Interactive AI systems are hooked up to databases, from which they can retrieve information in response to our queries. Automated chatbots like Siri are examples of interactive strong AIs. They are programmed to provide us with accurate answers to our queries based on the large amounts of data they have on hand.
- Analytic. This category of AI refers to a purer form of data analysis than the interactive type. A great example are UX/UI designs, which can be programmed with machine learning capabilities to suggest specific tasks and products for the user.
- Functional. Similar to analytic AI, a functional AI also analyzes data and provides results. But instead of suggesting these to the users, it looks for patterns that could threaten the system or cause it to break down. Once it detects the pattern, it will take measures to shut down and improve the system.
- Text. This AI uses text to complete a user request. In the context of Internet search, some AIs are equipped to learn from your search history to find better matches. Another example of text AI is the autocomplete feature. The machine predicts your query and uses text recognition to autofill the text.
- Visual. This type of AI can process visual features from images or videos for recognition purposes. Augmented reality, computer vision, and facial recognition are three technologies that fall under this category.
What Is Artificial Intelligence Used For?
The uses of AI are countless and AI technologies are used far and wide, including in computer science, in medicine, in education, and even in farming. Below are some specific uses of artificial intelligence.
Tracking Coronavirus Cases
AI has been a lifesaver during this pandemic. It has been used to track COVID-19 cases around the world. The tracing has helped governments take preemptive steps to curb the spread of the virus. While the pandemic has tested humanity’s resourcefulness, we would have already failed that test if we didn’t have AI.
Now you can switch off the lights, close the doors, and control the thermostat by talking to your home directly. And you can plan your meals by conversing with your fridge and launch a video call on your smart TV. Smart homes have enabled people to live less stressful and more comfortable lives, all thanks to AI.
Today’s e-commerce formula relies heavily on AI. The UX/UI analytic AI technology comes into play all the time. If you go shopping on Nike’s website, for example, Nike will suggest shoes based on your browsing pattern.
Learn Artificial Intelligence: Step-by-Step
There is no better time to learn artificial intelligence than right now. Keep in mind that AI is a broad field, so you will have to find out which area interests you the most. But whether you choose engineering, machine learning, deep learning algorithms, or big data analytics, you can follow the general step-by-step guide below.
1. Study Math and Computer Programming
Having good math skills is very important in learning AI. We’re talking calculus, linear algebra, and a whole litany of advanced topics. You can take multiple classes and practice math problems to strengthen your skills.
Programming languages are another important background skill. You can start by learning some of the easiest programming languages. There are tons of places, moreover, where you can learn to code for free.
2. Take AI Courses That Teach Algorithms and Analytical Skills
To learn AI, you need to have analytical skills and a background in algorithms. You must be able to write elegant and efficient algorithms. You also should be able to identify patterns and analyze data. So, enroll in AI courses related to these two topics.
3. Enroll in AI Courses That Match Your Interest
Now it’s time to specialize. Enroll in AI-specific courses that relate to your field of interest. If you want to learn machine learning, for example, then enroll in machine learning courses with a focus on AI. If you want to pursue a design career, then enroll in design AI courses.
The best way to strengthen your knowledge of a particular subject is through practice. So open up your workbooks and laptops and start practicing. Build websites, practice coding, work on computer systems, and find projects that apply specific engineering concepts.
5. Join AI Online Groups
One great way to learn AI is by joining online communities. You will get to meet many like-minded people, including those who can teach you more about the field. Two great places to start are Global AI and Data Quest.
The Best Artificial Intelligence Courses
To understand the artificial intelligence universe, it will take more than a Google search. You must enroll in well-vetted courses for proper training in AI.
We believe that online courses are the best means for learning technical subjects, especially during the pandemic. For a list of the best online AI courses, read on.
Offered by IBM via edX, this free course is a great four-week introduction to the foundations of AI. You will learn what AI is, how it is used in the modern world, and how to implement AI applications and networks of your very own.
Since there are no prerequisites, we recommend this course to anyone starting out. You will have an opportunity to develop your programming skills as you explore career opportunities in the field of AI. To earn a certificate, you can pay $99 at the end of the course.
This six-week course is offered by an affiliate of MIT’s business school. This is a great course for anyone curious about how to use AI to make a business more efficient and innovative.
You will learn the foundations of AI, including a crash course in robotics and natural language processing. You will also learn about the future of AI and how machine learning will impact the business world.
The UC Berkeley School of Information is hosting this six-week course on strategies surrounding AI. The course aims to help students get a deeper understanding of how to use AI to improve business operations. Its six modules will take you on a step-by-step journey to AI implementation.
You will learn what’s new in this field, working to understand the threats and challenges you will face while implementing AI strategies. We recommend this course for anyone interested in building a career in data analysis or business.
Harvard is offering this free seven-week course on how to apply machine learning concepts using Python. It covers the basics of artificial intelligence and explores the nexus of AI, machine learning, and Python. Topics include the Markov model, neural networks, probability theory, Bayesian networks, and natural language processing.
Offered by Columbia, this one-year Micromasters program on AI fundamentals explores real-world applications of the technology. For $996, you will earn the certification and skills that today’s AI job industry is looking for. You will also learn how AI is used in machine learning systems, neural networks, computer vision, robotics, and physical simulations.
We all know the importance of machine learning in AI. AI helps machines learn how to perceive a query the same way a human being would. In this Coursera course, which comes with an option to pay for a Stanford University certificate, you will learn logistic regression, artificial neural networks, and machine learning algorithms.
Bootcamps are another great way to learn a new skill. This bootcamp by Le Wagon is a 9-week program that focuses on all things data science. The best part of this bootcamp is that it’s hosted in over 40 countries.
The bootcamp covers Git, AI, SQL, Python, machine learning, and cloud computing. We understand that this isn’t an option for everyone, but it’s great for anyone in the data science field looking to upskill.
Offered by Google Education, this guide is absolutely free. The page links you to several YouTube videos on the different components of AI. The primary aim of the course is to teach you how to use AI for the betterment of society.
You will learn how to use AI to build ethical designs, contribute to the medical field, and help curb the effects of environmental and humanitarian crises. You will also learn how to use machine learning to solve real-world problems.
Is Learning Artificial Intelligence Right for You?
If you want to build a career in advanced technology, then AI is the field for you. By learning artificial intelligence, you will broaden your horizons and open yourself to a wealth of high-paying jobs.
Almost every business you can think of implements AI. Be it online shopping, webpage development, data management, or chatbot technology, AI is all around us. No longer is artificial intelligence science fiction or the stuff of dreams. Now is the time to embrace the forward-thinking field of AI and become part of the future.