The Best Way To Learn Artificial Intelligence

February 22, 2024 • Zachary Amos


What is the best way to learn artificial intelligence? Artificial Intelligence (AI) involves training computers to think and learn independently. It enables them to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, like problem-solving, language understanding and decision-making. 

AI utilizes technologies such as machine learning to enhance its abilities over time. You encounter AI in everyday applications like voice assistants, image recognition systems and even self-driving cars. 

Importance of Learning AI in Today’s World

Learning AI equips you with tools to navigate the complexities of the technologically driven world, fostering innovation and addressing challenges across diverse domains. Knowing it is crucial in today’s world because:

  • Innovation and technology advancement: AI powers innovations in various fields, driving technological advances, automation and problem-solving.
  • Industry transformation: Many industries, from health care to finance, use AI to streamline processes, improve efficiency and discover new possibilities. 
  • Job opportunities: AI skills are in high demand, opening up diverse career opportunities across industries and creating a competitive edge in the job market.
  • Solving complex problems: It enables the analysis of vast amounts of data to solve complex problems, contributing to breakthroughs in research, science and societal challenges.
  • Automation: Understanding AI is essential as automation becomes more prevalent, impacting industries and job roles. AI skills ensure adaptability in a rapidly changing job landscape.
  • Personal and professional growth: Learning it enhances critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity, contributing to personal and professional development in the increasingly digital world.

How Long Does It Take to Learn AI?

The time it takes to learn AI varies based on factors such as prior knowledge, the depth of understanding desired and the specific areas of AI you want to explore. 

Getting familiar with basic AI concepts can take a few weeks or months. This involves understanding terms, principles and the overall landscape of AI.

Acquiring programming skills like Python, understanding relevant mathematics like linear algebra and statistics and exploring basic machine learning might take several months. 

Diving into more specialized areas like natural language processing, computer vision or reinforcement earning can add several months to a year, depending on the depth of expertise desired.

Artificial intelligence is a rapidly evolving field. Continuous learning, staying updated with the latest advancements and gaining practical experience are ongoing processes. 

The Best Way to Learn Artificial Intelligence

The best way to learn AI depends on your learning style. Here are the basics: 

Master the Basics

Start with a strong foundation in Python programming. Build an understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts, especially linear algebra and calculus. 

  • Python programming: This programming is a versatile and high-level programming language widely used in AI and machine learning (ML). Its readability and extensive libraries make it popular for developing AI applications. It’s used to implement algorithms, handle data and create models, making it an essential skill for AI practitioners.
  • Linear algebra: This is a brand of mathematics that deals with vector spaces and linear mappings between these spaces. In AI, linear algebra is fundamental for understanding and working with algorithms and models. Concepts like vectors, matrices and eigenvalues are crucial for data manipulation, transformation and handling of multi-dimensional data structures common in AI and ML.
  • Calculus: This is another branch of mathematics that comprises differential and integral calculus with applications in AI. Differential calculus helps understand the rates of change and optimization, which is crucial for training machine learning models. Integral calculus is used in areas like probability and statistics, which are foundational for many AI algorithms. 

Online Courses

Online courses provide a structural learning path—combining them with practical applications is a powerful strategy for mastering AI. Enroll in reputable online courses such as Coursera and edXor Udacity, which are known for their quality content and industry relevance. 

Start with fundamental courses to establish a strong base. Andrew Ng’s “Machine Learning” course on Coursera is highly recommended for beginners, covering essential concepts with clarity and depth. 

Explore specialized programs to deepen your knowledge. Andrew Ng’s “Deep Learning Specialization” on Coursera is a comprehensive series of courses covering topics like neural networks, sequence models and structuring machine learning projects.

Opt for courses that offer certifications upon completion. These certifications can enhance your resume and demonstrate your commitment to mastering AI concepts.

Books for In-Depth Knowledge

Reading these influential books provides theoretical knowledge and practical insights and applications, enhancing your ability to navigate the diverse landscape of artificial intelligence: 

  • “Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow by Aurélien Géron”: A practical guide for both beginners and experienced practitioners. It covers key concepts of ML using the popular sci-kit-learn and TensorFlow libraries. Géron’s approach focuses on hands-on projects, providing a tangible understanding of machine learning techniques through real-world applications.
  • “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach” by Stuart Russel and Peter Norvig: A comprehensive textbook in the field, this book offers a holistic view of AI. It covers foundational concepts, problem-solving methods and various AI paradigms, making it suitable for both academic study and practical application.

Hands-On Projects

Applying what you’ve learned in real projects is essential for mastering AI. Work on projects that mimic real-world problems, like making recommendation systems or creating computer vision applications. 

Projects help you improve at solving problems, a vital skill in AI. Create a portfolio showcasing your projects. It’s like a resume that demonstrates your skills when applying for jobs.

Collaborate on open-source projects. It’s a chance to learn, gain exposure and show your commitment to the AI community. Share your projects online, network with professionals and get feedback. It can lead to valuable connections and insights.

Stay Updated 

To keep up with the latest in AI, subscribe to newsletters, follow research papers and join conferences like NeurIPS and ICML. Engage in webinars, online discussions and social media groups.

Balance depth and breadth in your knowledge and apply what you learn to real projects. Staying updated isn’t just about visiting and being informed but actively participating and contributing to the evolving world of artificial intelligence.

The Best Way To Learn Artificial Intelligence

The best way to learn artificial intelligence involves a mix of online courses, practical projects and staying updated with industry trends. Continuous learning and staying informed about advancements are key to mastering this rapidly evolving field.