How to Learn Artificial Intelligence (AI) - 26 Bootcamps to Get You Started

By: The SwitchUp Team
Last Updated: June 16, 2020

What you need to know about AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a machine simulation of human intelligence, and its concept has been around much longer than the current growing reality. In the past, human imagination created fictional interpretations of AI and portrayed it both positively and negatively. However, in the 1950s, mathematicians and philosophers began the first artificial intelligence research with the help of logic and feedback mechanisms1.

AI is no longer a far-fetched futuristic idea. It is used daily by numerous industries in many different forms. In the tech world, AI is used frequently, making it an excellent skill for developers and other industry employees to have. If you are interested in learning AI, jump to our comprehensive list of bootcamps that include it in their curriculum.

What is AI?

AI is the science and engineering used to create an "intelligent" machine. These "smart" machines are designed to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. AI is generally powered by machine learning but can work using deep learning or a set of rules as well. It falls into three categories:

  • Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) - weak intelligence - Narrow intelligence is the only currently existing type of AI. Since information is pulled from a specific dataset, these systems don't operate outside of the tasks they were designed to perform. They can run in real-time and often seem highly sophisticated but are limited by a predetermined range of responses.
  • Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) - strong intelligence - AGI machines exhibit some human intelligence and outperform human intellect. While today's computers can process data faster, they lack the ability to make judgements, use creativity to solve problems, and many other human capabilities. The goal of AGI is to give a machine "consciousness", which hasn't happened yet.
  • Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) - ASI is a machine that surpasses all human intelligence. This type of AI has inspired many movies and books and is the kind that humans often fear.

What is AI used for?

AI is used in numerous ways, from robotics and writing to predictive analytics to cyber defense. A few examples of AI in action include:

  • Autofill or in-document editors: When your phone "guesses" the next word or Microsoft Word "corrects" your spelling or grammar
  • Marketing automation: Automating repetitive tasks that engage users and generate leads, such as sending out an email to subscribers whenever a new article is posted
  • Chatbots in healthcare: A chatbot receives a set of patient symptoms and health concerns and guides the patient to the correct care
  • Alexa and SIRI: Personal digital assistants that listen to your vocal commands and turn lights on, play music, answer questions, and more

Why learn AI?

As technology expands, the demand for people with AI skills is increasing. Several tech-industry careers use AI, including UX Design, Digital Marketing, Data Science, Web Development, and Software Engineering. According to a recent study conducted by Gartner, companies plan to accelerate their adoption of AI-powered applications2.

Who should learn AI?

Anyone planning to pursue a career in data science, machine learning, or business intelligence should develop strong AI skills. Developers and engineers also benefit from the knowledge and skills. A good way to decide if AI is helpful for you to learn is to research how it's used in your prospective industry.

Learn AI at a bootcamp

Bootcamps, courses, and certificate programs are a great way to learn AI. Bootcamps like Springboard teach AI in their Machine Learning curriculum, while some higher ed institutions offer professional development AI courses, like MIT's Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy. Start your search for bootcamps that cover AI in our comprehensive list below.

Comprehensive list of AI Bootcamps

References

  1. 1950s: The Beginnings of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research.[online] Available at: http://world-information.org/wio/infostructure/ [Accessed 30 July 2020]
  2. Gartner Survey Reveals Leading Organizations Expect to Double the Number of AI Projects In Place Within the Next Year. [online] Available at: https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-07-15-gartner-survey-reveals-leading-organizations-expect-t [Accessed 30 July 2020]
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