Artificial intelligence is quickly sweeping every field of endeavors, whether banking and finance, health, fashion, social media, agriculture, education, you name it. If you are in doubt, you could simply Google search ‘Artificial Intelligence in <whatever field you wish>’ and be greeted with a long list of results.
While its prospects are undeniably promising, one question that runs through the mind of many is exactly how to begin a career in Artificial Intelligence and how long it would take to become proficient. This question cannot be given a straight answer. The truth is, it depends on a lot of factors. But if you’d like a straight answer, research has proven that it takes 10,000 hours to master any craft. So you could say this applies to machine learning as well.
But if that looks far-fetched, don’t fret. In this tutorial, we will consider all the necessary actions to ensure you learn artificial intelligence as quickly as possible. Let’s begin.
1. Be clear about your goals:
Artificial intelligence is a vast field, and you can get overwhelmed if you attempt to learn all at once. Some of the verticals of AI include computer vision which can be used for object detection, image classification, image generation, etc. They find wide applications in self-driving cars, medical diagnosis, plant monitoring, etc. Other interesting fields to consider include natural language processing (NLP) which involve text processing, speech translation, chatbots, autocomplete features, etc.
Having a picture of what you want to make out is artificial intelligence is super important. It would guide your learnings and give you the necessary impetus to keep pushing as you progress.
2. Be consistent
What differentiates a serious learner from a passive learner is their consistency. You’d need to be consistent about your learning if you want a seismic growth in your porgress. Now, here’s the trick. When starting out, don’t be bothered about how much time you spend learning in a day. Be rather concerned about learning everyday. It may be just an hour, it may be 2 it may be 30 minutes infact. But make sure it is daily. There’s something about the brain. It has the capability of learning whatever we so desire if we put in the time. The first few days of learning will however be tough. It may seem extremely uncomfortable but if you persist, learning becomes next to nature.
Think about this. Andrew Ng is one of the most powerful voices in Artificial Intelligence. He seems to know too much. But how did he get there, by continuous learning and research. Daily putting in the grind.
3. Learn Python or R
The two most popular langauge for AI are Python and R. But most people are gravitated towards Python because it is easy to learn and has a wide community. So if you are just getting started with programming, I’d advise that you learn Python. It will ramp up your progress as its learning curve is not as steep as that of R.
4. Learn from an AI Course
There are a lot of resources online, and it has now become a problem for beginners to know where to start from. You want to avoid cramming everything at once, and getting yourself confused. Learn from an AI course from industry experts. You can also get an Artificial Intelligence certification after learning. Getting certified in Artificial Intelligence will not only give you the necessary knowledge to forge your career and prepare you for real life situations. It would also improve your credibility in the eyes of your employers, thus standing you out of the pack. If you wish to get started, there are a plethora of AI courses here.
5. Avoid procrastination
Procrastination is a subtle evil. You should even. The truth is if you are waiting for the perfect time to start learning, it may never come. Just start with every resource you have right now. It may not be the best of experience, but start and keep at it nonetheless. You’d get better at it. To fight procrastination, you can dedicate a specific time of the day to learn. Have a timetable for the AI course you registered for. Be specific about your rate of learning. And take out everything that may come as a distraction during learning. You may want to put away your phone or place it on silent. This way, you stay true to your plan and achieve your goals.
In summary, I’d say learning AI to the point where you can take on real-life projects should not take more than 6 months if you put in the work daily. But the time it takes to master the field cannot be specified. Because truthfully, learning never stops.