22 May 2013

Dive into AI

For me it is time to learn something new, something I have never cared about in the past. This new thing to me is artificial intelligence (AI). But why do I care about it now?

Deep learning and mobile devices

There are two specific reasons to me, why I start to dive into this topic. First mobile devices have become very popular, but they are limited. Usability was the trick to get around these limitations, but it cannot solve everything. It looks like a new generation of AI could help us to improve our usage of mobile devices. A great example is Android's new speech recognition, which makes use of neural networks.

The second reason is the Deep Learning movement, which is driven by new possibilities in creating neural networks. It provides the hope to create algorithms, that can learn to understand something really deeply. Google is doing some interesting things in this area with it's Brain project.

What's hard with AI?

While the communities around web development or agile practices are well known and pretty active, it looks like there is not so much public actvity around AI. There are already meetups in New York and the Silicon Valley, but currently none in Berlin. Although there are different activities around AI at the universities here.

There are some open source libraries and books available for neural networks, but looking to web development and frameworks like Ruby on Rails, shows that we are probably just at the beginning.

Dive into AI

My first step to learn about AI was to join Andrew Ng's machine learning class on Coursera. I recommend it to everyone, who wants to get a first overview. I am now following two strategies. First I try to learn how to use neural networks and how to design them. In addition I have started to look around for AI activities and people in Berlin. Maybe we will even have an AI Berlin meetup in the future.

If you have some experiences in AI or you are simply interested like me, leave a comment.