Artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing a sci-fi future to the present. This area of computer science, which aims to allow computers to think and perform tasks like a human, has evolved from an idea…to a chessmaster-defeating computer…to self-driving cars – all in a relatively short period of time. AI has the potential to impact every area of society, and its reverberations are already being felt in unexpected ways.
So, how can you take part in this exciting future?
Learn to Program
The foundations of AI lie in three areas: an ability to program, a basic understanding of machine learning, and a familiarity with bots. Learning a programming language, like Java, Python, Ruby on Rails, or C++ is an absolute necessity to a budding computer scientist – it provides the framework to build anything going forward.
An understanding of machine learning, a field of computer science that teaches computers to ‘learn’ by analyzing data without being specifically programmed by humans to do so, is equally important.
And finally, a familiarity with bots (which combine elements of these things) and how they work is also crucial. Bots are essentially computer assistants, ranging from simple chat interfaces to complex creations like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, that function using the basics of AI.
An understanding of all three of these areas is vital to learning artificial intelligence.
Take a Class
Some computer scientists went to school for their degrees; others are self-taught. Regardless of your education level, taking a class or two on AI can provide a solid understanding of the field. There are multiple online classes offered by prestigious institutions introducing this complex world. Stanford’s “Artificial Intelligence: Principles & Techniques” is one of the best, equipping students with the tools and knowledge to solve daily problems with AI. MIT’s Artificial Intelligence course teaches AI learning methods while breaking down the fundamentals of human intelligence for its students, lending useful perspectives for fledgling computer scientists.
Read about AI
Books and articles are plentiful, and often free resources for programmers of any experience level. Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, by Stuart J. Russell and Peter Norvig, is available online, and offers coverage of the basics. Nils J. Nilsson’s The Quest for Artificial Intelligence is a great history lesson on AI from concept to present. Even Bill Gates has some recommendations on the subject: Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence and Pedro Domingos’s The Master Algorithm are two of his favorite books about AI.
Conferences are an amazing resource for AI students. Much can be learned from the field’s leading lights as they gather to debate, analyze, and share the results of research and experience. For those who cannot attend a gathering in person, YouTube is full of great archival content from conferences, lectures, and more. It offers the chance to learn directly from some of the most intelligent people in the business, all from the comfort of your couch. Tesla and SpaceX’s Elon Musk has given numerous talks on the subject that novices might find interesting; his 2014 discussion at MIT and 2015 conversation at Samford University provide interesting perspectives on AI in a variety of industries.
Join the Tickeron Community
Tickeron has developed AI for investing. From the novice investor to the expert trader, a user can find AI tools on tickeron.com that can assist in the investment process. Beginners can use Tickeron’s Diversification Score tool to measure how well their current portfolio is diversified. Or, if you simply have cash and are looking for investment ideas, you can query Tickeron’s AI for suggestions.
On a more sophisticated level – but still very much user-friendly – traders can use Tickeron’s Pattern Search Engine, which is an AI tool designed to scan the stock, ETF, cryptocurrency, and forex markets for technical trading patterns. Tickeron’s AI is finding new patterns pretty much every day, and delivering trade ideas right into the inboxes of subscribers. Using Tickeron’s online tools is the equivalent of having an AI assistant, where algorithms do all the work.
AI has officially entered the mainstream. From ‘Google Now’ on our phones to self-driving cars on the roads to IBM’s Watson besting two previous Jeopardy champions, AI not only exists – it is here to stay. The field holds tremendous untapped potential even as it finds a place in our everyday lives. Use these tips as a guide and join the next generation of computer scientists, who will be instrumental in ushering in AI’s ever-evolving, very bright future.