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How to Learn AI From Scratch: Top 5 AI Courses

We live in a time when artificial intelligence (AI) is climbing to new heights. Despite the fact that we are still a long way from the future that many Sci-Fi movies depict, we are seeing the emergence of AI tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney, and others that are shaking up the AI industry. For this reason, more and more people want to know how to learn AI.

While this concept is definitely not that easy to grasp, popular crypto learning platforms like DataCamp, Udacity, or Udemy offer a huge variety of courses on artificial intelligence fundamentals for different knowledge levels. So, no matter if you’re a beginner or an advanced AI advocate, you’ll find a course for you!

However, with thousands of courses across different platforms, it might be hard to know where to begin. Don’t worry, though, I’m here to give you a jump start in your AI learning journey and tell you how to learn AI from scratch with some of the best learning courses out there.

Before that, though, let’s delve into the fundamentals of artificial intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

If you’re looking for how to learn AI from scratch, you probably already know a thing or two about what it is. However, artificial intelligence in on itself is a very broad term that might be a bit hard to define. Most of the time, when asked what it is, people might say, “something about robots.” While they are a part of it, AI is not necessarily about robots.

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Put simply, artificial intelligence is about developing computer systems that can carry out tasks, which would normally require human intelligence (hence, the name). The main purpose of AI is to simplify these tasks and lift the burden of humans. However, keep in mind that AI has several subfields, and each of those subfields have their own goals.

Historically speaking, artificial intelligence dates back to the first half of the 20th century. At first, people were fascinated by robots depicted in such movies as Wizard of Oz and Metropolis, which then led to many scientists and philosophers looking into the concept in more depth.

How to learn AI: A scene from the movie

The term itself was coined in 1955 by John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Nathaniel Rochester, and Claude Shannon. They proposed a 2 month Dartmouth College research project on what they named artificial intelligence. The project took place the next year, which is now typically considered to be the official birth of AI as a new computer science field.

But enough about history, let’s get back to the present. What are the fundamentals of the new artificial intelligence? Well, for one, let’s address the fact that there are several types of artificial intelligence.

Types of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Those who want to know how to learn AI should first decide what type of AI they want to learn about. Overall, there are three main subfields: Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI).

Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), also known as weak AI or limited AI, is a kind of artificial intelligence made to excel at a single or a small number of closely related tasks. To complete these tasks, ANI is trained on a large dataset from which it takes the needed information. This type of AI dates back to the very beginning.

To give you an example, ANI is used in Meta’s facial recognition technology that identifies people and tags them in photos. Or, another example would be Siri. It uses an NLP system that allows it to recognize natural language and respond to it (NLP systems use ANI).

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is a more advanced version of AGI. It should be able to comprehend knowledge across a variety of tasks at a human level and be able to learn, adapt, and use it. The groundbreaking ChatGPT technology seeks to fall into this category of AI. However, as of 2023, AGI is still more theoretical than practical.

How to learn AI: ChatGPT.

You might be wondering, “How are the ways AI learns similar to how you learn?” Well, while human learning is more holistic and based on cognitive, emotional, and social factors, AI learning is about pure data analysis without the incorporation of such factors. Either way, though, learning via trial and error while relying on prior information is what makes them similar.

Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) is the most advanced level of AI that we can see in numerous Sci-Fi movies. It is yet a speculative type of system that would be capable of self-awareness and intelligence that would be superior to that of humans.

While this seems quite fascinating, it is also a bit frightening. I’m sure you’ve seen a movie where robots take over the world. Well, these robots would definitely fall in the category of ASI.

So, there you have it - the three fundamentals of the new artificial intelligence. To sum them up, ANI is the type of AI that is already mastered by humans and is used in many spheres of everyday life. AGI is the type that is not yet fully developed but is in the process of that, and ASI, well, is the potential future.

Main Concepts of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

So, you know the three main types of Artificial Intelligence. However, it’s also important to understand the difference between such artificial intelligence fundamental concepts as data science, machine learning and deep learning. Well, maybe not the difference, but how they correlated with each other.

Let’s start with machine learning, it is a branch of AI that focuses on creating algorithms that imitate the way humans learn, gradually improving with time. For instance, I’m sure you’re familiar with the way Netflix recommends movies based on your movie history. This is the most basic form of machine learning.

How to learn AI: Netflix.

Now, speaking of not-so-basic, deep learning is a branch of machine learning that is modeled after the structure of the brain. It excels at handling unstructured data, including text, photos, and videos. For example, self-driving cars or ChatGPT are both instances of projects that employ deep learning algorithms.

Lastly, we have data science, which is not a part of AI per se. Rather, it is a cross-disciplinary field that employs the aforementioned technologies, as well as others, to gain insight from data.

So, since you’re now familiar with the main artificial intelligence and machine learning fundamentals, the last question we have to address before going to the “how to learn AI” (and machine learning, for that matter) part is why should you do so.

Why Should You Learn AI?

If you’re searching for how to learn AI, machine learning, ChatGPT for beginners, or other similar concepts, you probably already have your own reasons for doing that. However, if you’re still doubting yourself, I’ll tell you the “universal” reasons why many people wonder how to learn about AI these days.

First and foremost, it is a field that is growing at a rapid speed as various AI technologies are adopted all over the world. This means that the demand for new AI technologies will only keep increasing, bringing us closer and closer to the future depicted in those Sci-Fi movies. Thus, every educated person should know at least the fundamentals of artificial intelligence.

How to learn AI: Robot and a woman.

Another reason why it's important to know how to learn AI and machine learning is the fact that, with the growing demand for new AI technologies, there is an increasing need for AI specialists. Machine learning engineer, data scientist, data engineer, and robotics engineer are just a few of the many job positions people with AI skills can take. And let me tell you, these are some high-paying job positions.

Now, financial opportunities aside, artificial intelligence is a fascinating and interesting topic. Besides, as it's a constantly evolving concept, there will always be more to know about. After all, as humans, we are naturally inclined to learn, so we might as well learn something that is at least intellectually challenging.

Speaking of which, if you want to fully understand the concept of AI and engage with industry professionals through webinars, podcasts, and a plethora of other fascinating activities, don't miss DataCamp's Data & AI Literacy Month in September 2023.

So, since you're familiar with the fundamentals of the new artificial intelligence and the reasons why people search for how to learn about AI, it’s time to get to the “How” part.

How to Learn AI From Scratch: Best AI Learning Courses

When you Google "how to learn AI," you'll see that there are many options available, like taking AI courses, reading AI books, and using cheat sheets. The most practical and efficient choice, though, unquestionably is taking AI courses.

However, with thousands of learning courses available on well-known learning sites like DataCamp, Udemy, or Udacity, it might be a bit overwhelming when deciding where to start. That is where I can help! I've handpicked 5 courses that will give you a great head start. Without further ado, let's look into them.

AI Fundamentals (Enroll Here)

How to learn AI: AI Fundamentals course by DataCamp.

The AI Fundamentals course by DataCamp is an amazing choice for complete beginners as it introduces all the intricacies of artificial intelligence fundamentals and answers questions like “How are the ways AI learns similar to how you learn?” or “What are AI limitations?”

The course consists of 14 videos and 49 exercises, yet it is only 4 hours long. This is great if you’re new to learning courses and want to begin with a lighter version first. However, even though it could be considered  “lighter” when it comes to length, it's not the case when it comes to knowledge. After you finish the course, you’ll have a strong foundation for deepening your AI skills further.

How to learn AI: AI machine.

Overall, there are four chapters in this course:

  • Introduction to AI. In this chapter, you’ll get introduced to both ANI and AGI, machine learning, the main principles of AI models, and their common drawbacks, as well as the possible future of AI. In essence, this chapter will provide you with artificial intelligence and machine learning fundamentals.
  • Supervised Learning. Just like the name suggests, this chapter is about supervised learning, which is a type of machine learning. Put briefly, it involves using labeled data units to train an AI system with the intention of creating a classification model, and this is exactly what you’ll learn in this chapter.
  • Unsupervised Learning. Contrary to the second chapter, the third chapter teaches about unsupervised learning, which is another type of machine learning that relies on unlabeled data units and creates new data. The chapter will teach you how to deal with data clusters, how to spot abnormalities, and how to select the right data model.
  • Deep Learning & Beyond. The last chapter will delve deeper into machine learning, presenting you with the intricacies of deep learning. Though, you’ll not only learn what it is and how do neural networks work, but will also be able to create your very own neural network. Pretty cool, right?

The course is taught by Nemanja Radojković, who is a data scientist with years of experience in the field of artificial intelligence. Overall, it is a well-structured introductory course that is great for those searching for how to learn AI and machine learning.

How to learn AI: Course instructor - Nemanja Radojkovic.

I have good news for you if you're interested in this AI Fundamentals course: the first chapter is free! However, if you want to access additional chapters, you must subscribe to the DataCamp Premium plan, which costs $25/month. It will provide you access to the complete course catalog as well as the remaining chapters of this course.

Besides, you can discover some amazing DataCamp deals here.

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Understanding Machine Learning (Enroll Here)

How to learn AI: Understanding Machine Learning.

If you’re wondering how to learn AI and machine learning, the Understanding Machine Learning course by DataCamp is definitely a great choice for you. It is a 2-hour course that consists of 12 videos and 36 exercises. So, it will provide you with both theoretical knowledge and hands on experience.

How to learn AI: Robot learning.

There are three chapters in total, including:

  • What is Machine Learning? This chapter will not only present you with the concept of machine learning and its most crucial terminology, but will also elaborate on its relation to artificial intelligence and data science. Besides that, it will introduce you to the workflow of building machine learning models.
  • Machine Learning Models. The second chapter will further explore the various models of machine learning in more detail, providing you with the skills to identify these models, evaluate them, and come up with improvements.
  • Deep Learning. The last chapter is all about deep learning, which is a subcategory of machine learning. You will learn all about neural networks, natural language processing, and computer vision, as well as all the benefits and drawbacks of machine learning as a whole.

Lis Sulmont, Hadrien Lacroix and Sara Billen will guide you through the intricacies of artificial intelligence and machine learning fundamentals. Lacroix and Billen are both a part of the DataCamp team, while Sulmont works with Duolingo. Thus, there’s no doubt that they have a thorough understanding of the needs of online learners.

How to learn AI: Course instructors - Lis Sulmont, Hadrien Lacroix, and Sala Billen.

If you’re not sure whether the Understanding Machine Learning course is what you’re looking for, the first chapter is free, which means you’ll be able to test out the waters before committing to the whole learning path. Other chapters, however, can only be accessed once you subscribe to the DataCamp Premium plan (​​$25/month).

Before subscribing, though, make sure to check out the hottest DataCamp deals and discounts here.

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Artificial Intelligence A-Z™ 2023: Build an AI with ChatGPT4 (Enroll Here)

How to learn AI: Artificial Intelligence A-Z course by Udemy.

  • Platform: Udemy
  • Duration: ~17 hours
  • Price: $139.99
  • Certificate: Yes
  • Level: Beginner
  • Discount: Available
  • Where to apply? HERE

If you want to go a bit beyond the artificial intelligence and machine learning fundamentals, you should check out this in-depth Artificial Intelligence A-Z™ 2023: Build an AI with ChatGPT4 course by Udemy. Though, do note that the course requires to have basic Python knowledge and high-school-level math skills.

The course consists of 17 hours of tutorial videos, 20 articles, and several downloadable Python code templates. In essence, the course teaches three main things - how to start building AI, how to merge AI with OpenAI Gym, and how to optimize your AI systems.

How to learn AI: A man controlling robot hands.

As for the course structure, there are four main chapters:

  • Fundamentals of Reinforcement Learning. As the name suggests, the first chapter (which is actually dubbed Part 0) will introduce you to reinforcement learning, including Q-Learning intuition and visualization.
  • Deep Q-Learning. The second chapter focuses on Deep Q-Learning intuition, implementation, and visualization. Also, as a bonus, it teaches how to build a self-driving car with ChatGPT. So, if you’re searching for courses on ChatGPT for beginners, this could also be a good pick for you.
  • Deep Convolutional Q-Learning. This chapter revolves around the intuition, implementation, and visualization of Deep Convolutional Q-Learning, as well as teaches how to build a Deep Convolutional Q-Learning model for Doom with ChatGPT.
  • A3C. The last chapter is all about Asynchronous Advantage Actor Critic (A3C) algorithm, including its intuition, implementation, and visualization. In the end, it also teaches how to build an A3C model for Breakout using ChatGPT.

This is pretty much it considering the main chapters of the course. Besides those, it offers annexes on artificial neural networks and convolutional neural networks, as well as some extra materials. As you can see, this course is definitely more complex. So, it’s great if you’re searching for how to learn about AI in a beginner-friendly yet more in-depth manner.

How to learn AI: Course instructor - Kirill Eremenko.

Overall, the course has 6 instructors, each with their own specialization. This includes AI advisor and cybersecurity engineer Jordan Sauchuk, AI engineer and entrepreneur Luka Anicin, data scientist Kirill Eremenko, serial tech entrepreneur Hadelin de Ponteves, as well as members from SuperDataScience and Ligency teams.

If you want to enroll in the Artificial Intelligence A-Z™ 2023: Build an AI with ChatGPT4 course, you can either buy it for $139.99 or subscribe to the Udemy Personal plan for $16.58/month and access this course in addition to 8,000 more (make sure you live in an eligible country, though). 

If you feel like the price is a bit too expensive for you, you can always find some great Udemy offers right here.

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Intro to Artificial Intelligence (Enroll Here)

How to learn AI: Intro to Artificial Intelligence course by Udacity.

  • Platform: Udacity
  • Duration: 4 months
  • Price: Free
  • Certificate: No
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Where to apply? HERE

If you want to learn artificial intelligence fundamentals for free, you should check out Udacity’s Intro to Artificial Intelligence course. However, do keep in mind that even though this course is introductory, it does require to have knowledge of probability theory and linear algebra.

The course consists of videos where instructors present the main concepts, experiential activities where you can see how these concepts actually work, and interactive quizzes where you can test out your gained knowledge.

How to learn AI: A robot hand touching a red block.

The two major parts of this course are:

  • Fundamentals of artificial intelligence. In this part, you’ll learn about Bayes networks, machine learning, statistics, uncertainty, as well as logic and planning. After learning this part, you’ll surely be able to answer the question, “How are the ways AI learns similar to how you learn?”
  • Applications of artificial intelligence. This part is all about robotics and robot motion planning, image processing and computer vision, as well as natural language processing and information retrieval.

So, essentially, the Intro to Artificial Intelligence course is about AI and its application in a broader sense. Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun are the instructors of this course. You can go through it at your own pace, which could take up to 4 months. However, since this is a free Udemy course, you will not get a certificate.

How to learn AI: Course instructors - Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun.

If you want to get certified on this topic, you could check out Udacity’s Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree or the Data Analyst Nanodegree programs. Now, these courses are not free, but you can find the best Udacity deals and discounts here.

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Introduction to ChatGPT (Enroll Here)

How to learn AI: Introduction to ChatGPT course by DataCamp.

If you’re searching for how to learn AI and ChatGPT for beginners, this short yet informative Introduction to ChatGPT course by DataCamp might be the perfect choice for you. It is a 1-hour course that consists of 8 videos and 26 exercises. In fact, it is one of the very first ChatGPT courses that was released right at the time all the fuss about it began.

How to learn AI: ChatGPT homepage.

The course is made up of two chapters:

  • Interacting with ChatGPT. In this chapter, you’ll learn what ChatGPT is, how it works, and what are its limitations. Besides that, you’ll learn how to write effective prompts and produce the highest quality content using ChatGPT.
  • Adopting ChatGPT. The second chapter answers the question of when to use ChatGPT. It covers the main use cases of ChatGPT and when you should (or shouldn't) use it. Additionally, you’ll learn what are the primary elements that will determine whether generative AI models like ChatGPT will survive in the future.

Thus, this is definitely a great ChatGPT for beginners course, especially for those who want a short yet efficient one. The instructor of the course is James Chapman, who is DataCamp’s Curriculum Manager. He began his journey with DataCamp as a learner, which means that he can clearly see everything through the learner's eyes and present the content accordingly.

How to learn AI: James Chapman.

Just like with other DataCamp courses, the first chapter of the Introduction to ChatGPT course is free. However, to finish the course, you’ll have to subscribe to DataCamp’s Premium plan, which costs $25 per month. Don’t worry, though, you can find some great DataCamp discounts here.

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So, there you have it - 5 great courses that will introduce you to the fundamentals of the new artificial intelligence. No matter what your reasons are for searching how to learn AI, the AI Fundamentals course, the Understanding Machine Learning course, the Introduction to ChatGPT course, and others will surely provide you with a strong foundation for your AI skills.

Do keep in mind, though, that the field of artificial intelligence is very broad and constantly evolving, which means that these courses are just the tip of the iceberg. However, don't worry, DataCamp, Udacity, Udemy, and other renowned learning platforms have many more AI-related courses for various types of skill levels.

Having said that, I hope you'll have a great learning experience with these courses and a response ready for when someone asks, "How to learn about AI?"

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How are the ways AI learns similar to how you learn?

On one side, the way AI learns is very different from the way humans learn, as it doesn't involve emotions in the learning process, which means it might run into difficulties when facing unexpected situations. However, with the emergence of deep learning, which is inspired by the neural links in the human brain, AI learning becomes more and more similar to that of human learning. One similarity is clear, though - both AI and humans learn based on a trial-and-error method. If you want to know more about machine learning, you should check out DataCamp's Understanding Machine Learning and Introduction to ChatGPT courses.

How to learn AI?

By far, one of the most convenient and efficient ways to learn about AI is by enrolling in artificial intelligence and machine learning courses on renowned learning platforms like DataCamp, Udacity, or Udemy. If you don't know where to start, though, I suggest beginning with the AI Fundamentals course, which will provide you with a solid background in the artificial intelligence world as a whole.

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