Fact: artificial intelligence and algorithms are so hot right now.

So hot that it’s hard to open a browser these days and not read about AI, machine learning, and/or big data.

I bet even your granny is talking about AI.

While you might not dream of neural nets, odds are you’ve caught onto the fact that AI is:

a) a big deal,
b) something that’s gotten a lot of very smart, rich, and powerful people very excited,
c) worth getting involved in.

And you’re right my friend, you’re so right.

Artificial intelligence is one of the most exciting things to happen since sliced bread and it promises to change pretty much everything.

Pretty big claim, I know.

But AI is already fundamentally changing so much, so fast that we don’t even realize it’s happening. A quick look at my desk shows all sorts of AI-fueled goodies – from the recommender system that algorithmically recommends a song to me on Spotify to the natural language processing algorithms that allows me to talk to my phone and actually get a response (hey Siri 👋) or the computer vision model that suggests the perfect DIY to make on Pinterest.

You might be thinking “yeah yeah, that’s cool and all that but why should I care?” and I’d say good question, way to always focus on the bottom line.

Short answer: learning how to work with data and implement artificial intelligence algorithms is one of the best investments you can make in yourself right now.

Fact: It’s a (technological) revolution, baby.

And this revolution is not going to wait for you.

Seriously, you should get started today.

Why today? Because successful-person rule #1 just do it but also, things are moving so quickly that if you don’t jump in now you’re almost certainly going to be left in the dust.

Scientists are trying to make intelligent machines by building computers that are able to learn and then improve themselves, which means this stuff is moving. Fast. Because computers can do everything quicker. So with each subsequent improvement, development, breakthrough, or even small step forward, the machines are getting harder, better, faster, stronger.

Oh yeah, and companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Uber decided to go big or go home and are pouring billions of dollars into developing this technology. So there’s that.

From where I’m standing, I see two options. You can either dive head first into AI, embrace the machines, and stake your territory on the edge of incredible – or get left behind 🦕

It really is that simple.

Personally, I know which side I plan to be on.

I mean, even Beyonce’s into AI. Why aren’t you?

Fact: even if you’re not interested in AI, it is going to affect you.

Imagine you went back in time – even just a few decades ago – and told someone that in the future everyone walks around 24/7 with a tiny computer that fits in their pocket. And that we talk to this little device and it talks back. And it doesn’t just talk back but it actually answers our questions. Faster and more accurately than a human can.

You’d be laughed out of the room. No one would believe you!

I am, of course, talking about smartphones. Those little devices that have totally taken over our lives in less than 10 years. Computers that we eat with, sleep with, and travel with. Yeah, those little bad boys. When we look at the rate at which smartphones have basically taken over the world and changed how we relate to computers (and each other!) it’s easy to see how AI will do the same. Except, of course, bigger and faster.

Whether you choose to care about AI or not, the fact is that you’re going to NEED to know about it in the future. Understanding what’s going on in this technological revolution is not a nice to have, it’s a requirement if you want to be on the winning side in the future.

Seriously.

How we work, play, consume information and even understand the world around us set to change. In fact, it already has. Jobs are being replaced by automation aka computers and robots. This revolution is not going to stop. Some estimate that approximately 50% of current work activities have the potential to be automated. That’s a huge number.

So what’s the best way to be healthy, wealthy, and wise in the coming years? Learn how to work with the machines! According to Forbes, “Machine Learning Engineers, Data Scientists, and Big Data Engineers rank among the top emerging jobs on LinkedIn. Data scientist roles have grown over 650% since 2012, but currently, 35,000 people in the US have data science skills, while hundreds of companies are hiring for those roles.” This is a big opportunity for anyone willing to reach out and grab it.

Fact: the world needs more diversity in the movers, shapers, and influencers taking part in this revolution.

#truthbomb #sorrynotsorry if people like you and me don’t use our voices to state exactly what kind of systems we want, we’re going to end up with whatever we’re given – womp, womp.

Data scientists, intelligent machine thought leaders, and artificial intelligence designers, developers, and doers are what the world of tomorrow is going to be all about – and it needs more people like you.  Creators, writers, designers, artists, thinkers, dreamers, and all-around changemakers 💯

The age of artificial intelligence and machines that think is coming, my friends, and if it’s going to be the amazing utopia that technologists predict, then the tech world needs more non-techies, STAT. Because balance ☯️

The good news about AI is that algorithms will do exactly what they are designed to do, so the odds of armies of rogue robots is pretty low.

The bad news is that computers only do what they are programmed to do. So if you have just one group of people (aka a lack of diversity) designing the systems that will be an integral part of our future then these systems will literally be designed, programmed, and built by and for that single group of people.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Women are already majorly underrepresented in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Its time we take our seat at the table because living in a world that doesn’t consider our requirements simply is not acceptable.

By learning how to work with big data and AI algorithms while these technologies are still in the early stages of development we can co-create a future world that we actually want to live in.

Teaching ourselves how to design these systems in those in-between spaces, between the gym and work meetings, between diaper changes and folding laundry, is akin to dragging our own chair to the table and claiming the seat that is rightfully ours 👊

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