The Transition From High School to Artificial Intelligence Takes More Than Just An Introductory MOOC

Every other blog , article , counseller and someday , even aliens …

Every other blog, article, career counsellor and someday, even aliens might recommend you start with Machine Learning by Andrew Ng or Machine Learning by A-Z in Python on Udemy. Although these are, hands-down, the best Introductory MOOCs but what’s the point if it goes over one’s head?

I’ve met countless students complaining how nothing makes sense, hence leading them into quitting the course. Let me tell you this, it’s okay to find such courses ridiculously difficult, they rely heavily on intuition and conceptual learning – a phenomena so foreign to a fresh high school graduate.

“When you go from simple high school stuff to being taught Neural Networks intuitively, your brain goes through a dramatic structural change. But the brain vehemently opposes that change… and leaves you demotivated… “

Dr. Lara Boyd of British Columbia University says that when we learn something new, our brain goes through chemical, structural and functional changes. When you go from simple high school stuff to being taught Neural Networks intuitively, your brain goes through a dramatic structural change. But the brain vehemently opposes that change and as a result of that resistance, you end up demotivated. Instead, it’s far more efficient and effective to bring about a gradual change to the structure.

Rigorous and active revision brings understanding and helps develop a strong instinct.

There are two main simple ways of slowly, steadily changing your mind’s framework:

    • Intense Practice and revision

      Famous research of Malcolm Gladwell says to reach the top of a highly competitive field, one needs to spend roughly ten thousand hours practicing (Don’t worry, you don’t need to spend that much, this is estimation of a complete career, you should spend roughly fifteen hours per week on your program). If you can’t practice, then revise. Rigorous and active revision brings understanding and helps develop a strong instinct.

“Start with easy exercises, they bring that temporary chemical change which when done regularly can start the process of the great restructuring.”

    • Start with MIT’s 6.00.1x and 6.00.2x:

      6.00.1x is Introduction to Computation and Programming in Python. You can’t really do AI without basic programming skills, not to mention it’s a prerequisite of every other AI course. This one has a resource section where you can get challenging programming exercises. Start with easy exercises, work your way up to the difficult ones. They bring that temporary chemical change which when done regularly can start the process of the great restructuring.

      6.00.2x is Introduction to computational thinking and data science. The professors take the knowledge you already have and expand it to the statistical world of data science. This can be one of your major stepping stone towards AI.

“… the professors take the knowledge you already have and expand it to the statistical world of data science.”

Now, your brain has gone through adequate intellectual training required to handle a proper introductory AI MOOC. Being one of the most competitive fields of our time, it will take time, loads of sleepless nights, early mornings and heavy doses of caffeine (maybe even a red bull) to fully understand the fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence.

Note: I’ve used the word high school in the American sense, which is HSC, A Levels, IB and all that.

 

By: Husun Bano

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