Hi folks! after having spent about a month of intense learning and work in the field of AI, I would like to share with you my experiences so far. Its been about a year since December 5, 2017, when AlphaZero amazed me to the core by defeating world-champion programs, Stockfish, elmo, and the 3-day version of AlphaGo Zero. I quickly realised that this technology could have a profound impact on the world ahead. And soon about a month after I could completely agree with Sundar Pichai's statement at a town hall event in San Francisco that AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on and that it could be more impactful than electricity or fire. Since then I pledged to embrace this opportunity to build an amazing world that will be AI-powered.
To me, before 5th December, 2017, AI was just a concept, more of a theoretical stuff or research stuff than something hugely impactful. Reason being, probably, we were not exposed to this amazing technology in our undergrad CS course. We did study about AI but had not seen anything as impactful as AlphaGO and AlphaZero.
In the first 6 months, I explored various AI-powered apps and services and research works done by amazing people and companies(specially deepmind).
Then in mid-july I thought of working on a project: an app that can read multiple articles on a topic and produce precise summary and important points and events. Too much for a beginner, right? lol. I had no idea where to start and I still have no idea yet to be precise. I quickly explored relevant apps and research works and soon realised that we are nowhere close to actually understanding and making sense of texts and languages. There are apps out there but nowhere close to what I exactly want. And most importantly, I realised that I was hugely underequipped to precisely understand and make sense of some relevant research works in the field.
So, I started the learning process. I watched lot of youtube videos and tutorials from various sources. In about two months, I came to know that learning without systematic approach is not really helpful. Most of the relevant contents on youtube are in bits and pieces. Learning in bits and pieces costs more time because you have to spend extra time in assembling them.
I spent about a month in sharpening my math skills from Khan Academy. Sal Khan sir, you are doing a great job! People like you are making the world a wonderful place. At times I was in tears, because my whole life so far I have never met a teacher like you. You represent a true embodiment of a Guru. May God bless you more.
So with a half-baked knowledge of Machine Learning and Deeplearning gathered from bits and pieces, I decided to take up a course on coursera. Here, I got to learn from another amazing person Andrew Ng sir, the founder of Google Brain. Thank you sir for the financial aid. I enjoyed learning from your course. Young learners like us from third world countries will always be grateful to you.
Why working on AI is intellectually stimulating?
To be very frank, since my childhood, I never found anything intellectually stimulating. In other words, I haven't got anything to do that requires to apply intelligence. I did put in lot of efforts in many works, just plain efforts, just to please some people. In my school, my teachers used to say I am extremely intelligent when I solved some maths problems which they struggled to solve. But my grades throughout my academics were never impressive. My teachers didn't know that I solved the problems because they said they were very hard and so I was excited.
For the first time I have found something that is intellectually stimulating, something that is intense and exciting.
AI is not just learning complex mathematical patterns and algorithms. It is a way to decode the working of our mind and the whole universe.
So, what's ahead in the next decade?
We have already seen how deeplearning has transformed traditional intenet businesses like web search and advertising. we have also seen deeplearning enabling brand new products and businesses and many ways of helping people, everything ranging from better healthcare, where deep learning is getting really good at reading X-ray images, to delivering personalized education, to precision agriculture, to even self driving cars and many others.
So over the next decade, I think all of us have an opportunity to build an amazing world, amazing society, that is AI powered.
There is going to be new and much better ways of doing things, new ways of thinking, new ways of living life and most importantly, creation of lot of new and exciting jobs where all people will be free from menial jobs and creativity will blossom like never before.
So, Folks! be ready and open to changes for a better world.