What is the Best Way to Learn Artificial Intelligence for a Beginner?
To help you kickstart your journey into the world of Artificial Intelligence, we’ve gathered insights from CEOs, founders, and other industry professionals. From starting with machine learning to choosing active learning courses, discover the top 10 methods these experts recommend for beginners to learn AI effectively.
- Start with Machine Learning
- Explore YouTube and Hands-On Practice
- Learn Through Project-Based Experiences
- Utilize Udemy for AI Courses
- Blend Theory and Practice in AI
- Adopt a Multi-Faceted Learning Approach
- Understand AI in a Business Context
- Enroll in an AI Course
- Build a Strong AI Foundation
- Choose Active Learning Courses
Start with Machine Learning
Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence that involves teaching computers to learn from data. It is one of the most essential AI approaches, and there are numerous online courses and tutorials available to assist you in mastering it.
Beginning with simple machine learning algorithms like linear regression and logistic regression, I advise you to move on to more advanced techniques like neural networks and deep learning.
Explore YouTube and Hands-On Practice
My favorite way to learn about AI as a beginner is to watch YouTube videos on the subject. With AI rising in popularity recently, there is virtually an endless catalog of videos from creators that provide you with a quick crash course.
Don’t pay for anything just yet—just start with free resources. Then, you should get your hands dirty. Using AI software, like ChatGPT or Midjourney, is a great way to get hands-on experience with the technology to see what it can and cannot do. You’ll start to understand how the technology works and the quirks and issues it still has (it is pretty new, after all).
Then, once you feel like you’re stuck or hitting a wall, that’s the time to dig in with more educational content and perhaps paid content if it looks relevant to your specific needs.
Learn Through Project-Based Experiences
AI is an immensely complex discipline and the stack heavily relies on the task you want to solve. Learning Artificial Intelligence in general is an end in itself. Hence, I suggest everyone who wants to gain practical knowledge start with a project.
For example, you have a website with millions of visitors and want to forecast its future traffic. To achieve this exact goal, you will have to learn about using API to connect Google Analytics, how to install and run Python as a programming language, and how to learn forecasting and analysis Python packages like Facebook’s Prophet.
Best part? You can start this project for free with the help of ChatGPT. Start asking a series of simple questions like “How do I install Python on my Mac?” As a CEO of a coding school, I guarantee that this approach will bring an x100 more practical knowledge than reading a Wikipedia article or watching a documentary.
Utilize Udemy for AI Courses
Starting your journey with Artificial Intelligence doesn’t have to be intimidating, and one place I would recommend all beginners to go is Udemy. Even as someone with a Master’s degree in Computer Science, I took a couple of AI-related courses this year and learned some new things.
Udemy’s broad curriculum caters to your specific interests in AI. Are you intrigued by machine learning or prompt engineering? They’ve got courses for that. Interested in mastering ChatGPT interactions or figuring out the intricate Midjourney prompts? Udemy has specialized and affordable courses to get you started.
I strongly believe in lifelong learning, and Udemy is an excellent platform for that. Its accessible, self-paced courses let you explore and deepen your AI knowledge without the traditional constraints of time and space. And they often have class projects so you can not just watch but apply the knowledge right away and get some hands-on experience with AI.
Blend Theory and Practice in AI
The most effective method for learning artificial intelligence (AI) as a beginner combines academic knowledge with practical practice.
Learn about the foundational ideas of AI, including data analysis, neural networks, and machine learning techniques. Books, educational platforms, and online courses can all be excellent tools for understanding these ideas. It is essential to work on real-world projects if you want to comprehend AI completely. Start with creating basic artificial intelligence algorithms in Python and then investigate well-known frameworks like TensorFlow or PyTorch.
Your comprehension of AI principles will improve, and your capacity for problem-solving will grow as a result of practical experience with real-world datasets. Keep in mind that mastering AI is a lifelong endeavor that calls for commitment, practice, and enthusiasm for discovering the possibilities of intelligent systems.
Adopt a Multi-Faceted Learning Approach
To learn AI as a beginner, I recommend a three-fold approach based on my own experience.
First, dive into relevant literature like Data Science for Dummies to build a first foundation. As you progress, explore Data Science for Business by Provost and Fawcett for deeper insights.
Second, seek collaborative projects with data scientists. I had the privilege of working in a multidisciplinary environment, combining biomedical engineering, data science, and business. This hands-on experience accelerated my understanding of AI’s practical applications, such as developing treatments for diseases.
Lastly, foster an interest in statistics, a fundamental component of AI. Concepts like multiple regression and the relationship between predictors and outcomes provide essential knowledge and are relatively easy to pick up in e.g. business school (or on your own).
Understand AI in a Business Context
When beginners see the term “Artificial Intelligence”, they imagine robotics and automation and try to learn the big picture of what AI is right away, instead of learning AI in the scope of how it can apply to their business.
Start with learning about your own data and how it behaves. For example, what steps are on the buyer’s journey that are leading to changes in your data? Do you have automated processes that are updating actions?
It’s important to understand what data automated already exists because that represents some AI that already exists in your organization. From there, you can apply the proper contexts to what Artificial Intelligence is, and figure out what roadmap to take to apply/read about AI further.
Enroll in an AI Course
Enrolling in an AI course is one of the most effective ways to learn AI as it walks you through the principles of AI and covers everything you need to know, from robotics and NLP to machine learning and algorithms.
Elements like personalization, gamification, and virtual mentoring make AI learning even more accessible and enjoyable. Courses allow you to step into a well-defined and tested learning environment with plenty of motivation to learn.
Certification also opens doors to job opportunities, including AI engineers, data scientists, and data miners. With the perfect combination of accreditation and prioritized learning, clearing a job interview and landing a job in AI can be a piece of cake.
Build a Strong AI Foundation
In order to learn Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a beginner, it is crucial to develop a solid foundation in the basic concepts of AI. This includes understanding the core principles of machine learning, neural networks, and data analysis.
Machine learning forms the backbone of AI, enabling computers to learn from data and make predictions or decisions. Neural networks, inspired by the human brain, are essential for modeling complex relationships and solving tasks such as image or speech recognition. Data analysis skills are crucial for extracting meaningful insights and patterns from large datasets.
By grasping these fundamental concepts, beginners can lay a strong groundwork for further exploration and application of AI techniques in various domains.
Choose Active Learning Courses
Similar to some of the STEM subjects, artificial intelligence is also one that is best learned when done through active learning. Therefore, to learn faster and more effectively, a beginner should pick a course that gives them an opportunity for active and engaged learning.
Solely focusing on bookish knowledge will not help much; in fact, it will become overwhelming for a beginner. Therefore, it is best that they pick a course that teaches them through practical implementations alongside the theory.
This makes learning more engaging and also increases the student’s retention of the key concepts. Also, taking up a course that teaches in a community is better, as it makes learning more interesting and motivates the members to re-energize and refocus on their learning. Especially for those with zero prior knowledge of AI, some topics might get tedious and therefore hard to grasp; having a good study buddy can help solve that.