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May 3, 2024 - 6 minutes

Embarking on the AI Journey: A Beginner's Guide to Getting Started

If you’re unsure of how to get started with AI, great news: you’re in the right place.

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Artificial Intelligence

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You’ve heard all the noise and you’re intrigued: artificial intelligence seems like the only thing people are talking about and you’re even seeing it mentioned with increasing frequency on job postings and interviews. But it seems so different than anything we’ve seen before: how can you take the first steps towards adding these valuable and sought-after skills to your resume? 

Getting started in artificial intelligence can be connected to jumping off a pool edge into the cold waters below: you know everything will be okay, but that initial leap will take significant bravery and determination. And as you begin your AI journey, you might feel unsure or even uneasy, but learning AI skills is an incredible step towards making your career bullet-proof and setting yourself up for future success.

In this article, we’ll tackle all of your doubts and discuss the first steps you can take towards solidifying those AI skills on your resume–and, of course, the reasons why you should be prioritizing AI in the near future. 

Let’s dive right in.

Why Should You Learn About AI?

Although we’ll go into more detail below, it’s quite easy to answer this question: artificial intelligence is the future and that’s why you should learn it! But in case you’re looking for a few more reasons to really convince you, take a look:

  • Your career opportunities will expand: AI isn’t something that’s limited to just tech or a few specific fields; as its potential expands and more and more companies choose to employ AI tools to help their business run better and provide superior services to users, AI skills will be needed across the board, no matter your field or role. 

  • You can better use data for your needs: the best decisions are backed by data and one of AI’s strongest areas is in data; it can process and analyze gigantic amounts of data in just a matter of seconds, identifying trends and patterns that could have a tremendously positive impact on your company. When left to humans, these findings could be missed or take too long to discover that the company ultimately doesn’t dedicate their time to it. 

  • You can benefit from automation: even the most efficient professionals are still slowed down by tedious and repetitive tasks that everyone has to deal with; from timesheet verification to data entry, the time that these tasks take is getting in the way of more interesting or business-forward projects. With AI, however, you’ll be able to automate these processes, freeing up your time. 

  • You can be on the forefront of change: the introduction of AI into our society is one of the biggest and most transformative changes we’ve seen and that’s precisely why now’s the time to get into it. Whether you’re interested in the ethical side of AI or researching all its potential applications, choosing to dive headfirst into AI now will transform your career trajectory. 

Without a doubt, AI is an incredibly valuable field that will only continue to grow. And now that we’ve sold you on why now is the time to dedicate your efforts towards AI skills, let’s dive into those first steps to help you get your feet wet. 

Getting Started in Artificial Intelligence 

As always, the exact right path for you will depend on your specific interests and career aspirations; however, considering the vast majority of AI tools require the same basic knowledge, we can give you some helpful tips on starting out in AI. 

Read through our tips below and consider if it sounds like a good fit for you–remember, there are tons of applications for AI and you will definitely find the one that's right for you. It will just take a bit of time and patience. 

Review the basics 

To properly understand how to work with AI tools, even if you’re not interested in building them yourself, it’s important to comprehend the basics of how artificial intelligence works, what it is, and how it can be applied to specific settings. For example, if you want to focus on using AI tools for visual content, you won’t need to build any tool yourself, but you’ll benefit from understanding how they work best to ask them for what you want. 

If you are interested in the more technical side of artificial intelligence, consider reviewing the basics of computer science and common programming languages such as Python or R–with this knowledge, you’ll have the right foundation for putting your knowledge into practice with AI. 

Do your research 

Just as we mentioned above, AI is a new field and this means all its applications have yet to be discovered, as well as its risks. If you’re truly interested in using AI in your field, you should take the time to research artificial intelligence, where it came from, how it’s used, current conversations surrounding it, and what to expect from future applications. 

Ensure you prioritize researching the ethical implications of AI as this will be an essential part of employing AI tools in your work–are there any local or international regulations that surround the use of AI in your field? Are there any ethical debates that would affect your use of AI? As you dive into AI, these are all important questions to keep in mind. 

Take a course 

With your research completed and a basic understanding of what AI is and how it works, it’s time to take what you’ve learned on your own and leave the rest to the professionals with a course. While you can definitely refine your knowledge online, in such a new field, it’s crucial to dedicate the appropriate time and resources towards learning AI. 

If you’re still not sure the direction your career will take or are simply looking for a general foundation for AI, there are lots of courses out there that are designed just for that. But if you’re ready to take the next step towards your future, here are some great places to start: 

  • Python: understanding the basics of Python and how it’s applied to artificial intelligence and machine learning tasks can make you an incredibly valuable asset to your team. Capable of applying Python in AI from conceptualization to deployment, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned to real world projects. 

  • OpenAI’s APIs: OpenAI’s popularity has skyrocketed, thanks to the release of ChatGPT and if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to create your own AI product prototype that meets your company’s specific needs, this is for you. 

  • Data analysis: with the help of AI, the data you can collect, analyze, and visualize will reach entirely new heights. You’ll be able to build models to conduct different kinds of analysis, helping you better understand the data with which you’re working. 

  • UI design: with a better grasp on the creativity of AI, you’ll be well on your way to creating visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces that users love to return to.

  • Image creation: transform your marketing materials, social media content, and branding images with the help of AI image creation. 

Choosing to get into artificial intelligence now and ensuring your career is future-proof is the right step forward and with AI School by Ironhack’s courses, you’ll be well on your way to success. 

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