Step 1 – Educate yourself about AI.
In this module, we’re going to learn why basic
AI literacy will be so important
during the AI technology revolution.
In addition, I’ll provide you with recommendations
on how best to educate yourself about AI.
Why is education important during a technology
Why can’t we just continue going about our
day-to-day lives as the world changes around us?
With each of the previous technology revolutions,
there was a need to update human education
to function in the new world.
With the agricultural revolution, humans had
to become proficient with agricultural technologies.
As a result, we had to learn how to farm,
domestic animals, and use a plow.
With the industrial revolution, humans had
to become proficient with industrial technologies.
As a result, we had to learn how to operate
steam engines, run machinery, and use electricity.
And with the information revolution, humans had to become proficient with information technologies.
As a result, we had to learn how to use telephones,
work with computers, and program software.
With the AI revolution, humanity will once
again need to update its skill set
to become literate in the basics of AI.
We will need to learn how to train AI models,
develop AI applications, and use AI tools.
You see, whether you realize it or not, our
world are going through a major transition as we speak.
We’re entering the era of of artificial intelligence,
and machine learning.
A future where machines will be doing many
of the jobs that humans are currently doing today.
As a result, the software industry is preparing
to go through a major workforce transition as well.
In the past, we would have to explicitly program
a computer (step-by-step) to solve a problem.
This involved a lot of if-then statements,
for-loops, and logical operations.
Today, however, machines can teach themselves
how to solve problems on their own
– we just need to provide the data.
Now this is a radically different way of working
with a computer
than we are used to as software developers
and IT professionals.
While there’s a growing demand for individuals
with the skills necessary to implement AI solutions.
There is currently a shortage of people capable
of teaching machines how to solve problems
in this new way.
As a result, those with the skills necessary
to leverage AI
are commanding significantly higher salaries.
And this trend doesn’t seem to have any end
Think back to our last major technology revolution
– the information revolution.
Each of us had a choice to either learn how
to use a computer or stay computer illiterate.
Think of all the opportunities that computer
literacy has afforded you over the years.
And think of all the disadvantages for those
who can barely use a computer.
The same will be true of AI literacy during
the AI revolution.
Those who are AI literate will be highly-functional
in our new economy.
Those that are not will sit on the sidelines
and eventually become obsolete.
So, how should you educate yourself about
What should you be doing today to teach yourself
about this new set of technologies?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all
answer to this question.
It really depends on what your objectives
are for learning AI.
However, I have some general recommendations
that I think will help get you pointed
in the right direction.
First, start by learning the basics of AI.
Basic AI literacy will be important no matter
who you are or what you want to do with AI.
You need to learn the difference between what
is real vs. what is hype.
What can AI do successfully today vs. what
things are currently impossible or impractical?
Learn the basics of data science, machine
learning, deep learning, and reinforcement learning.
Learn what they are, how they work, and why
they are important for AI.
And learn the difference between the various
types of AI like:
Narrow AI vs. General AI,
symbolic AI vs. data-driven AI,
and supervised learning vs. unsupervised learning.
Everyone in the general public will need to
have a basic level of AI literacy
in order to function effectively in an AI-driven society.
Second, choose an objective with AI.
What do you actually want to do with artificial
Do you want to automate decisions, predictions,
or tasks with AI?
If so, you’ll need to learn how to train new
AI models using machine-learning algorithms.
Do you want to solve new problems with AI
If so, you’ll need to learn how to develop
AI applications using pre-trained AI models.
Or, do you just want to be more productive
with your own day-to-day tasks?
If so, you’ll need to learn how to use pre-built
AI tools created by 3rd-party providers.
You need to decide what you want to do with
AI first before you can decide
what AI skills you’ll actually need.
Third, get the right training.
There’s no one-size-fits-all training for
your AI education.
For each objective we previously mentioned,
there is an ideal curriculum and learning path.
If you want to train new AI models using existing
then you’ll need training in both data science
and machine learning.
If you want to develop new AI applications
using pre-trained AI models,
then you will need both programming skills
and the ability to use pre-trained AI models.
Or, if you just want to use pre-built AI tools,
then you just need basic AI literacy
and training on how to use each of these AI
tools as necessary.
What’s important is that you get the right
training based on what you actually want to do with AI.
Fourth, you need to practice your skills.
No matter which career path and training you
choose, you are going to need lots of practice.
It’s one thing to know what
a neural network is.
However, it’s an entirely different thing
to be able to train a neural network to detect fraud.
You can participate in online competitions
(like Kaggle competitions)
to apply your skills while
learning from your peers.
You can create or maintain an open-source
project to share your knowledge with others
while you learn.
Or you can find low-risk projects at work
to practice your new skills and build your portfolio.
Ultimately, you need to find lots of opportunities
to practice the skills that you’ve learned
and build up your resume.
Finally, choose reliable sources of information.
Unfortunately, there are some people out there
that are just trying to take advantage of you
to take your money.
So, you want to avoid the AI hucksters, charlatans,
and snake-oil salesmen out there.
Look out for people trying to dazzle you with
a bunch of big hype and buzz words
or people that are making grand or unrealistic
Instead, you want to find trusted sources
for all of your information and training.
So, be sure to check your source’s credentials,
qualifications, and experience.
You want to make sure that you’re getting
the most value possible for your investment
in your AI education.
To recap our first recommendation:
educate yourself about AI.
Learn the basics of AI,
choose your objective for using AI,
get the right training for that objective,
practice your skills extensively,
and choose reliable sources for your education.