AI IN A WEEK

With commentators arguing about how artificial intelligence is reshaping the world, lots of people want to get up to speed on what AI might mean for them. There are many great articles, videos, courses and games online to help you learn about AI: but knowing where to start can be difficult.

Oxford Insights asked the question: if you devoted a week to learning about artificial intelligence, how should you spend that time?  

To answer that question, our researcher Laura Caccia has put together a week-long crash course to get you up to speed with the basic developments and debates shaping the field of artificial intelligence: how it works, why it’s important, and what it can do for you. We’ve recommended two books that cost a total of £20, and the rest of the materials are all available for free online.

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Short on time? Want to learn more?

We also run a one-day taught course in London and Oxford if you'd like to meet our experts in person. 

The week is a directed path through a multimedia collection of materials such as videos, articles, and books. There is a quiz at the end of each day to test what you've learned. Alongside the technicalities of AI, it explores what lessons we can learn from machines about efficient and creative thinking. You might like to do the 'course' as we've designed it, spending a week going through the instructions for each day. Or perhaps you'll put aside five consecutive Saturdays, or just dip in and out for the parts you are most interested in.

We'd love to hear your comments and suggestions. What worked well? What did we miss? Get in touch on twitter @oxfordinsights or email research [at] oxfordinsights.com

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 Screenshot from Ken Goldberg's TED lesson -  4 lessons we can learn from Robots

Screenshot from Ken Goldberg's TED lesson - 4 lessons we can learn from Robots

Monday: What is 'AI' and where has it come from? 

Monday is about introducing artificial intelligence and getting comfortable with terminology.

  • What is AI?
  • How does AI work?
  • Why should we care?

Tuesday: Concepts of Intelligence

Next step is to understand how we have built machines to think. This will help you consider the differences and similarities between their thought processes and our own and what they can teach us about productivity.

  • Computational thinking 
  • Artificial and natural languages (coding)
  • Neural networks 
 Screenshot from Google's AI experiments -  Visualizing High-Dimensional Space

Screenshot from Google's AI experiments - Visualizing High-Dimensional Space


 Sourced from Wikimedia

Sourced from Wikimedia

Wednesday: How AI 'thinks'

Today focuses on algorithms, the hidden programmes that shape our digital experiences. Understanding algorithms and how they change based on the data that ‘feeds’ them will help you understand how they can be tailored to suit your needs.

  • Types of algorithms and where to find them 
  • The Big Data that feeds them 
  • What we can learn from algorithmic processes  

Thursday: Ethics

Some important moral and philosophical debates have arisen alongside artificial intelligence. The focus of Thursday is to help you think about why we should be treating AI with care, and how we can implement the technology with awareness of the problems it presents.

  • Algorithm bias 
  • Superintelligence
  • Computers and creativity 

 Sourced from  Pxhere

Sourced from Pxhere

Friday: Future directions

Now it’s time to get up to date with the most recent developments in AI and think about where AI is going. This is both an exercise in hype examination, and a chance for you to learn about some technologies or areas of interest that could be useful to you.

  • Recent breakthroughs 
  • Who to follow 
  • Predictions and predicting 

Short on time? Want to learn more?

We also run a one-day taught course in London and Oxford if you'd like to meet our experts in person. Sign up for more info here!