A rtificial intelligence is one of the fastest-growing fields in tech, but with so much to know about it, where does one start? Here we take a look at some ways to familiarize yourself with AI.
Artificial intelligence is already here and it's near you. Soon it will likely start performing many of the tasks that humans perform.
You don't need to see it as a threat, instead, it's better to learn the fundamentals of AI now so that when it does arrive it can be used as a tool to enhance the value of human effort to your organization or to any organisation you consult for.
You should know that there are many different types of AI that serve various functions. Tech journalist Michael Copeland views the technology as a series of concentric circles, with AI as the outermost circle and more specialized forms like machine learning (ML) and deep learning falling within. The differences lie in the levels of complexity exhibited by each form of AI and the specific functions they are designed to enable.
Machine learning uses algorithms to parse data to make predictions about its environment. With ML, programmers no longer need to hand code each and every action a system should take, but rather the system itself can determine the best course of action given the available data. Even at this stage, however, the term
“intelligence” is used very loosely, since it still requires a lot of human input for ML to arrive at rational conclusions.
This is where deep learning and neural networks come in. Unlike machine learning, these technologies seek to emulate the workings of the human brain. Using advanced layering, connectivity and data propagation, they process data sets in numerous ways to produce weighted probabilities for a given result. Since this is a very heavy computation workload, it isn't surprising that this level of AI was kept on the back burner until GPUs and parallel processing entered the mainstream.
The AI programmer should also become familiar with the leading platforms on the market. While the plethora of solutions is growing larger by the day, some of the more basic systems offer a fairly easy learning curve for those who are already familiar with common programming languages
The biggest change that artificial intelligence will bring to the knowledge workforce, and IT in particular, is the removal of all of the rote, repetitive tasks that make up the bulk of the workday. But make no mistake, AI will not make humans redundant, nor will it allow mankind to live a life of leisure while machines do all the work.