First Steps Into Deep Learning

When I was a kid, I was fascinated with the idea of computers being able to think on their own.

I remember in elementary school reading a book about robotic insects. It showed illustrations of how these robotic insects could be assembled. And instead of a brain, it had a computer chip.

I wanted to build one.

But being young and having no idea how computers really worked, I thought I could buy a computer chip, connect a few wires, and voila! I’d have built Artificial Intelligence.

Adults were the ones who told me it’s way more complex than that.

I wanted to know how a computer chip could give life to these inset machines. But everyone said it was way beyond what I could understand. So I brushed it aside.

Fast forward to now.

A whole industry is growing around AI and machine learning.

Every day, I hear about machines doing more incredible things: driving cars, making art, diagnosing diseases.

I’d also become interested in fictional books about robots. I started reading Issac Asimov’s “I, Robot”. Then, started reading about super intelligence.

I started having those same feelings I did when I was a kid reading about robotic insects.

Except now, it all seemed possible.

But I didn’t know how in reach it really was.

Last week, Udacity announced they were launching a Deep Learning Foundations course.

Built as a way to give an intro to machine learning and AI, I instantly signed up.

Not only do they provide a great intro, but they even guarantee you a spot in either their  Self-Driving Car or Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree programs.

2 Nanodegrees I really wanted to join a year ago, but didn’t have the knowledge necessary.

The course starts this Friday. I’ve just glanced over the syllabus, so I don’t know exactly what I will learn.

But that is part of the excitement. Going into the unknown.

I’m sure I’ll struggle along the way. I’m still pretty new to higher levels of programming, and haven’t taken a math course since Calculus in high school.

But I’ve tackled harder problems before.

Some of what I get to learn in Deep Learning Foundations

My next steps.

I plan to continue my Udacity Full Stack Developer Nanodegree. Udacity in fact says that I can take both at once (and even recommends it).

I’ll keep you updated on my progress through this new Deep Learning Foundations course, as well as the Full Stack Developer Nanodegree.

If you have an interest in machine learning or artificial intelligence, I’d definitely recommend checking out Udacity and the courses they offer.

If you are taking the course, message me on the Slack channel.

Photo by JD Hancock. Creative Commons License.

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