I get this question asked very often and every time I have a different answer, so I though I will put all my thoughts here in a structured manner, so that I sound more coherent every time I answer this question
Coming from a product background, I went on to being acknowledged as an AI innovator at London tech week, I believe I am competent enough to make an attempt to answer this question
So when some one asks me " I want to learn AI & ML, where should i start" , my instant response is "Why" and usually I get a very feeble answer to this counter question. I would ask them to spend a good time to understand "The WHY", because the answer to this "Why" is extremely critical to start your AI journey.
Let me briefly take you through my journey of learning AI
Back in 2015, I started my journey to explore AI, because I needed to scale my fashion tech startup. I had to reduce customer servicing cost, so as to achieve unit level profitability. Being the founder, I was under extreme pressure to reduce cost and I knew AI was the only answer to my problem.
That is when, me and my team started exploring the field of AI, with a single objective in mind, to reduce the customer servicing cost. Gradually over a period of 9-12 months,we deployed our first auto cataloging model, eventually going on to develop a smart mirror application for retailer for which we were acknowledged as one of the AI Innovators at London Tech Week.
In my case, I think the "Why" was easy, as it was driven by business need, but for individuals defining the WHY can be difficult and not having clarity is very natural, but what is not ok is jumping on the bandwagon and then realising that you have taken the wrong train
The answer to this why can be many, someone may want to learn AI, to make a career shift or accelerate in their career, some one wants to understand to keep them abreast with latest technology or for some one it could be to use in their business area, but a majority of the people who are just starting usually have less clarity and they develop this clarity only once they have started.
So until and unless you have not gained clarity to exactly why do you want to learn, do not invest a heavy amount and time in courses which are promising you to make masters of AI within a year or so, what you need to start with is with a course which teaches you the Basics, Capabilities and applications of AI and does not require too much of your investment.
Once your start the journey with a simpler non tech courses, you will gradually gain clarity and then you can decide which is the next train or flight you want to take, because learning AI is a journey and cannot be restricted to a degree from a prestigious university.
To start with the basics and application, you can checkout a handpicked list of courses https://www.aimadesimple.com/learn-ai, which can certainly get you started.
I hope I have been able to give you a good starting point
If you have more questions on AI, you may want to look the following blog posts
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