What is Artificial Intelligence?

Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about AI

The Basics of AI - What is Artificial Intelligence - 2

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the world’s most exciting frontier for knowledge and technology. Everywhere you look, people are talking about intelligent machines improving our lives. For all of the excitement, many of the concepts and applications are still highly technical, and can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the basics of AI. If you have questions, you certainly aren’t alone!

Read on to learn answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about AI.

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5 Must-Read AI Newsletters

Udacity - 5 Must Read AI Newsletters

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the most important technology of our time. It is having an impact on virtually every industry, and it’s changing how we think about the future of work. It is an incredible time to start learning about AI, and developing AI skills.

Whether you’re new to the field and curious about career opportunities, or looking to start applying AI techniques in your current job, there is an incredible amount of information out there you’ll need to digest. Even if you’re a full-time AI professional, the tide of new stories and discoveries can be overwhelming. But it’s critical that no matter where you are on your journey into the world of AI, you stay abreast of all the latest news.

Subscribing to regular AI newsletters is a great way to do this. You get a variety of viewpoints. You get content that cuts to the core of AI’s biggest issues. You get the benefit of somebody else curating relevant news for you. Most importantly, you maintain access to a steady stream of high-value content that will ensure you’re up to speed on the most important topics.

Here are our recommendations for five must-read AI newsletters:

The Algorithm

The Algorithm is sent out by the MIT Technology Review, and is read by virtually all AI professionals. It arrives in your inbox every weekday, providing brief, no-nonsense updates on AI news stories. Even better, its “Deeper” section aims to explain the research behind emerging AI technologies. Want to show an interviewer you understand a new deep-learning algorithm? This is the place to prepare.

ODSC

The Open Data Science Conference (ODSC) is well known for its global events on the future of AI and Data Science. Their AccelerateAI newsletter is a great insider source of information on the commercial applications of AI and the technology behind it. The short, graphical format makes it quick and easy to search through research papers, job postings, and curated blog titles from AI experts.

Data Elixir

Data Elixir is put together by Lon Riesberg, a former NASA data scientist. It’s become an essential weekly read for anyone even remotely interested in AI, machine learning, or data. As well as clearly highlighting industry news and job postings, the newsletter comes highly recommended for its “Tools and Techniques” section. Go here for in-depth, practical articles on how you can build specific AI skills and experience.

AI Weekly

AI Weekly’s simple design means you can quickly scan through industry news and articles on AI tools and hardware. Its “Some Inspiration” section is an excellent place to read thoughtful comment pieces on broader industry ideas and concepts—such as ethical and regulatory questions. Recruiters love to challenge job applicants with questions about topics like these so AI job-seekers can do themselves a favor by taking a deep read here.

Import AI

Written by Open AI’s Jack Clark, Import AI is a weekly, bare-bones text newsletter. Its succinct news summaries of major events are highly recommended, as is Jack’s commentary providing context on every story. His explanations of “why it matters” are great when you want to burrow into the facts behind the headlines. It’s a great tool, both for people new to AI, and for those with experience who need to catch up with developments fast!

Don’t wait. Subscribe to these newsletters now! You’ll stay informed and you’ll always have a view on the latest AI developments.

As a bonus recommendation, we suggest This Week in AI, by Udacity’s own Mat Leonard. Mat leads Udacity’s AI programs, and publishes this weekly list of curated AI stories on Udacity’s Medium publication. Mat is uniquely positioned to understand what stories are relevant and why, and you can be sure that if he’s sharing it, it’s important to read it.

Happy reading!

The Future of AI, Data, and Education

Please read Diversity on our AI and Data Advisory Board, our COO’s follow-up to the story below.

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Introducing the Udacity Artificial Intelligence and Data Industry Advisory Board

Future of AI - Data

As we look forward into a future we know will be shaped by the transformational impact of artificial intelligence and data technologies, we can clearly see the birth of a new knowledge ecosystem within which education, industry, and technology form a powerful partnership. That these three arenas will be interrelated goes without saying, but how they inform one another, and how these relationships take shape and evolve, remain open questions.

At Udacity, we recognize the singular role we occupy, existing as we do at the crossroads where  education, industry, and technology meet. We are a learning provider that teaches AI and data skills, in partnership with industry, and as such, we see a unique opportunity—and feel a special obligation—to both facilitate and contribute to the global conversation around critical issues we face as we move into our AI and data-powered future.

We are very excited to share that we have formed an Artificial Intelligence and Data Industry Advisory Board with the expressed goal of bringing together leading experts in the field to consider the opportunities that lay ahead, to address the challenges we face, and to answer the questions we must answer.

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Introducing AI Challenger, a $300,000 Global AI Competition for Students

 

Udacity - Global AI Challenger

Artificial Intelligence has hit fever pitch in China. From cutting-edge tech powerhouses to established large corporations, everyone is setting up new AI Labs, hiring new talent, and announcing new platforms. “AI First” is the order of the day in China, and the excitement around this transformational technology is incredible. Udacity is thrilled to be playing a key role, through important partnerships with companies such as Tencent, Didi Chuxing, and Alibaba.

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A Priceless Collaboration: IBM Watson and Udacity

Armen Pischdotchian - IBM Watson - Udacity

IBM Watson has captured our collective imagination to a degree that very few technologies ever achieve. Even to refer to it as a “technology” seems limiting, considering its larger-than-life persona. From that fabled moment in 2011 when IBM Watson won Jeopardy’s first place prize—besting legendary former champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings—its place in our cultural history was assured. But behind all the media notoriety lies a system of staggering power and complexity, with the potential to impact our future in ways we’re only just beginning to imagine.

In light of all this, it’s difficult at first to conceive that anyone could actually teach people about IBM Watson. But that’s exactly what Armen Pischdotchian does for a living. By title, he is an “Academic Tech Mentor at IBM Watson.” Translation: Armen Pischdotchian knows a LOT about IBM Watson.

Which is why we’re so excited for our Artificial Intelligence students, because Armen Pischdotchian is now a contributing expert for Udacity’s Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program!

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Amazon Alexa’s Ashwin Ram talks AI with Sebastian Thrun

Ashwin Ram and Sebastian Thrun - AI - Udacity

Artificial Intelligence by its very nature promises so much, and the potential seems so vast it staggers the imagination. Excitement in this field runs higher every day, as the ongoing process of translating the possible into the actual produces newer and more incredible innovations.

With this excitement come concerns, of course, and it is perhaps understandable that some people continue to see Artificial Intelligence as some sort of a threat—in far too many narratives, AI is cast as a replacement for humans, with robot laborers predicated to take over for human employees in the workforce. This worry fails to take into consideration two key storylines: 1) AI is an augmentative technology; it extends our abilities, it does not replace them, and 2) AI, by assuming responsibility for repetitive and mundane tasks, frees us for more creative and fulfilling activity.  

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Digamma.ai & Udacity: How Industry and Educators can Work Together to Address the Skills Gap in AI

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to dramatically reshape our world in ways we’re only just beginning to imagine. More so than perhaps any other technology, AI stands to become the transformative force of the future.

Talent, community, and investment

Understandably, some of the brightest minds in the world are already working in the field, and every day more innovators, risk-takers, and forward-thinkers arrive to join their ranks. In many respects it’s a simple equation—incredible new technologies attract incredible new talent.

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