Math! Math! Oh, and perhaps some more Math!
That’s the general summary of the advice to students interested in (AI) Artificial Intelligence. This came from Facebook’s Yann LeCun and Joaquin Quiñonero Candela. Both are tasked with the coveted job of running the company’s Lab for Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning applied group.
Although most tech companies often advocates for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), Facebook’s executives have taken it a notch further by imploring students to focus on more technology based subjects. The pair stated that students should take Calculus, Linear Algebra, Probability and Statistics as early as possible.
But, from what I remembered in high school the most interesting subject on this list are Stats and Probability. Not to mention, these two subjects are regularly dismissed as too-obvious strategies for skipping the informal AP Calculus preference of top colleges and universities, also AP Statistics is often thought of as a cop-out by many students.
Facebook has turned its attention to the real mechanics of getting a job in the field of Artificial Intelligence. The company believes that the powering of modern machines has to do with the differential equations that represent the electricity that powered it. Therefore, we should admonish ourselves to learn the statistics that represent the gears of the machine itself.
To be fair, LeCun and Candela were most likely referring to the college and university crowd. Although it’s important to seriously take the incentive across the board in all levels of education. Simply, we all could probably use some more statistics in our lives.
Math is absolutely necessary in our everyday lives, but we also should recognize that engineering, computer science, economics and neurosciences are also important subjects in today’s economy. How else would a new student learn to leverage neuro-economics and cognitive bias in target ads?
What You Should Know about Life’s Most Important Subjects:
Most of these tips are self-explanatory: find a professor to work with, consider working with PhD students who have more time on their hands.
You should secure an industry-focused internship regardless of your future aspirations to understand how Artificial Intelligence works in the real world.
When applying to PhD programs you should consider finding a professor who will nurture and guide you through the learning process.
Diligently work on your program ranking and work hard to develop and release open source codes, thus building your repertoire as an accomplished Artificial Intelligence graduate.