As you may recall from your elementary school years, homework assignments dished out to kids aren't always well thought. While some assignments are able to stump parents, this sheet that was apparently assigned to first graders is just asking for trouble. The kids are supposed to create a word that ends with "uck." Regardless, there are only so many letters in the alphabet, and eventually, some kid is going to choose "f" or "c" to fill in the blank.
You head home after a rough day of say, third grade, sit down to watch your favorite cartoon with your favorite snack, trying to wash away thoughts of gym class, gross school lunch and rejection from your first crush and then...your heart sinks. You remember that you still have to write a stupid book report about the The Boy Who Cried Wolf. You could take the time to actually do your homework properly, with correct spelling, details and accuracy. My friend teaches 3rd grade. This kid has a bad case of the Mondays.
Don't know where or how to start learning? But learning more about artificial intelligence, and the myriad overlapping and related fields and application domains does not require a PhD. Getting started can be intimidating, but don't be discouraged; check out this motivating and inspirational post, the author of which went from little understanding of machine learning to actively and effectively utilizing techniques in their job within a year. With more and more institutes of higher learning today making the decision to allow course materials to be openly accessible to non-students via the magic of the web, all of a sudden a pseudo-university course experience can be had by almost anyone, anywhere. Have a look at the following free course materials, all of which are appropriate for an introductory level of AI understanding, some of which also cover niche application concepts and material.
CMRoboBits is a course offered at Carnegie Mellon University that introduces students to all the concepts needed to create a complete intelligent robot. In particular, the course focuses on the areas of perception, cognition, and action by using the Sony AIBO robot as the focus for the programming assignments. This course shows how an AIBO and its software resources make it possible for students to investigate and work with an unusually broad variety of AI topics within a single semester. While material presented in this article describes using AI-BOs as the primary platform, the concepts presented in the course are not unique to the AIBO and can be applied on different kinds of robotic hardware. Our experience runs across several generations of these four-legged robots, and we have met with increasing success every year.
Since 1997, we have researched teams of soccer robots using the Sony AIBO robots as the robot platform (Veloso & Uther 1999; Veloso et al. 2000; Lenser, Bruce, & Veloso 2001a; 2001b; Uther et al. 2002). Our experience runs across several generations of these four-legged robots and we have met increasing success every year. In the fall of 2003, we created a new course building upon our research experience with the AIBO robots. The course, which we entitled CMRobo-Bits, introduces students to all the concepts needed to create a complete intelligent robot. We focus on the areas of perception, cognition, and action and use the Sony AIBO robots to help the students to understand in depth the issues involved in developing such capabilities in a robot.