View Full Version : Need help figuring out what to learn

the dead tree
12-17-2004, 11:27 AM
I'm a Psychology graduate that decided to work with AI programming a few months ago, and so far I have been learning, well, c++, done a little WinAPI and read a few books about OpenGL.
I was ready to start reading about 3D engines, until a few minutes ago I stopped to think about what am I doing.

My goal is to work with AI mainly, and I was leaving that for later, since I figured I should have a broader understanding of things.
But speaking in practical terms about getting jobs ( and since theres so much specialization ), shouldnīt I start with this field I'm interested in and that I have some background ( college course ) to back me up, and forget for now about getting better at what I began, like OpenGL?

To me it seems that dealing with graphics and specific APIs will give you more opportunities for jobs, and even if I'm to work with AI I'll have to understand them highly well, but is that the case?

I donīt have access to computer science teachers nor many friends that could help me with that question, and google didnīt help either, so I'm lost.

12-17-2004, 11:34 AM
future of AI lies in neural networks - so I would definately pick up a book about that. I own this one (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0132733501/qid=1103304689/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/002-0305930-8264862?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) , it is a great book but your math background has to be very strong - I find myself going back to linear algebra and calculus books quite often when going through that book. The material in it has changed my perspectives on the field by 180 degrees. One more thing thought, the book is quite expensive, so I just want to let you know it has almost no code in it - it is pure theory.

But, even before the above, what have you done/read in the field of AI (other than C++ and some APIs) ?

the dead tree
12-17-2004, 11:42 AM
what have you done/read in the field of AI
Nothing at all, like I said I was giving a look at other fields first, and my question is whether I should put all my focus now on AI or not :confused:
I'm starting to guess a yes.

12-17-2004, 11:51 AM
How is your mathematical background? what courses did you take/are planning to take? if your math is pretty weak, then I say you first concentrate on that (if nothing else, take a semester of calculus and linear algebra [but deffinately the latter]). With a weak background most book on AI wont make much sense to you, and you will get deterred towardfs the subject very fast.

I say, go to a good public library and checkout a few books on AI - make sure they are pretty specialized books and not just an overview - although, an overview will give you some idea of what you will need to learn in order to pursue the field. Take a few books home and look over them, see for yourself what are your weeknesses and strengths - go into it knowing both and you should be ok.

the dead tree
12-17-2004, 12:02 PM
I probably have to take a calculus course or so ( would have if I kept with 3D engine anyway ).
I'm gonna check on some books and get started on AI.
So much to learn, I should started programming at 12.

And thanks for recommending that book