Artificial intelligence is the buzz word of today, especially in the tech world. Often times than not, people are confused with the words Artificial intelligence, what does it mean? Where does it come from? Are just some of the questions that are being asked today.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence can be defined in many ways. One of the earliest definitions of AI was given by Mr. Minsky and Mr. McCarthy, two people who are considered as the fathers of the field of artificial intelligence. They described an as any task that has been performed by a machine that, if carried out by a human, would require the human to apply intelligence to complete the task. This essentially means that an AI is when a machine is able to think by itself and perform tasks that earlier, only humans were capable of.
Why is Artificial Intelligence important?
The fact that humans are always trying to bring in new technology that makes lives easier is what drives research and development in AI. We all know that humans, though skilled, can never do the number of calculations that a computer can do. By using complex AI and ML (machine learning) models, we can analyze a lot of raw data and fit them into patterns. For example, there is an AI model that can tell you if you have breast cancer with very high levels of accuracy with a little data about you. Reaching this level of accuracy is not possible for doctors also. AI will be able to make the lives of humans easier and improve the living conditions of future generations.
Can you learn AI?
The thing about Artificial Intelligence is that though there is much need for people who are trained in developing AI, there are not a lot of people in the field right now. Most companies have reported huge vacancies for research and development using AI and AI-assisted technologies. Even top companies like Google, Facebook, and so on are working towards integrating AI in their platforms. It is estimated that around 72% of all AI jobs are still vacant. This means that it is a great idea to learn AI at this point in time to improve your chances of being employed.
What are some of the AI courses that are available?
There are a lot of resources online for learning Artificial Intelligence as well as AI-assisted technologies. Many of these online courses are free, and hence you will not have to pay for them. But, the issue with free courses is that you often do not get a certificate after completing the course. Having a certificate is important as it will help you in getting a job.
Here are some of the popular courses in AI and ML:
1. Principles of Machine learning by Microsoft:
With three experienced instructors, Microsoft offers this course as a part of their professional program certificate in data science. As a part of this course, you will learn machine theory as well as practical scenarios. The duration of this course is 6 weeks, with you needing to dedicate about 3 or 4 hours per week to complete it. The course covers important topics like regression models, non-linear models, clustering techniques, and so on. Though it is categorized as an intermediate level course, many freshers have also been able to understand the topics clearly with minimum previous knowledge requirements.
2. Artificial Intelligence Graduate certification by Stanford University:
The AI course offered by Stanford is a good one for beginners. This course can be taken up online as well. This course will give you a solid foundation in AI and AI-assisted technologies and also discuss some of the background processes that help in the development of AI. Some of the topics that are included in this course are Data mining and representation, Probabilistic models, perception and cognition, logic and reasoning techniques, and so on.
3. Machine learning specialization by University of Washington:
This is a collection of 5 different intermediate level courses. This course is designed to help students specialize in machine learning. The course in itself will take about 25 weeks to complete and required a minimum effort of 5 hours of 8 hours per day per course on the part of the learner. The course is completely free.
What are the career prospects for AI?
The journey of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning often start with data science. Companies are facing a huge shortage of data scientists and are offering jobs that are paying very handsomely for skilled data scientists. You can also move towards the core of AI in research by building your own models for the analysis of data patterns and still get paid very handsomely by top companies located all around the world.