Can You Learn AI Without Coding or Math?

Can You Learn AI Without Coding or Math?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is an interesting thing to learn, especially as technology advances and more industries and companies are turning to AI to improve their efficiency. You may be interested in learning AI either for a job or just for fun. But can you learn AI without coding or math?

It depends, as math and coding are important in AI. AI as a technology is getting to a level where they are teaching forms of Artificial Intelligence to utilize common languages like English to program and code. In that case, and progressively in the future the average user will not need to learn coding or math while using these programs.

This article explores whether or not coding and math are essential if you want to learn AI. We will detail the careers in which these skills are important to have. Finally, we will also look at how to learn AI, even if you do not have a background in coding or math, and provide some resources you can use to get started learning AI.

Can You Learn AI Without Coding or Math? We asked AI

OpenAI Playground Can You Learn AI Without Coding or Math?
OpenAI Playground answering the question “Can You Learn AI Without Coding or Math?”

We asked the question to OpenAI’s Beta AI program “Playground” – “Can You Learn AI Without Coding or Math?” The AI’s answer was the following:

“Yes, you can learn AI without coding or math. AI is a field of study that can be learned through various resources, such as online courses, books, and articles. However, some basic coding and math skills may be helpful in understanding certain concepts related to AI.”*

Explore the OpenAI APIBeta and signup to get into Playground

Now it is extremely important to understand that OpenAI wants you to know that this answer came from a Raw AI Model and states the following:

“The author generated this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.”

*This AI’s response is unaltered and in its original form and the author of this article has not revised it in any way.

You Can Learn AI, You Just Need to Get Started

You Can Learn AI, You Just Need to Get Started
You Can Learn AI, You Just Need to Get Started

First of all, remember you can do whatever you want in this world and if you want to learn (AI) Artificial Intelligence then start looking into AI. Math and coding are important in AI but not for every job or task. When we discuss math in this article we are talking about advanced mathematics.

Just as in owning a small business you need accounting to run the business but not every business owner is an accountant. They hire accountants just like AI companies hire coders and mathematicians.

There are many different aspects of Artificial Intelligence and of course, there is coding and math. Coding and math are the backbone of most digital technology and is the language Artificial Intelligence speaks. 

AI as a technology is getting to a level where they are teaching forms of it to utilize common languages like English in the program as we show in this article. The future is bright for someone starting in the AI industry today.

No-Code A.I. Revolution

No-Code A.I. Revolution
No-Code A.I. Revolution

Many AI tools today can be used without knowing how to build AI and there is a NoCode.ai revolution going on. You can join the NoCode.ai community and build AI projects without coding. NoCode.ai has a free subscription and project-based courses and tutorials.

There is also OpenAI’s beta.openai.com where they have a Quickstart Tutorial and Examples that are showing and testing new beta interfaces for inserting and editing text and code. You can actually build an application on OpenAI, and if they approve it you can go live. 

There are also breakthroughs from companies like Google Deepmind utilizing Competitive programming with AlphaCode. Deepmind created AlphaCode which writes computer programs to compete and learn at a competitive level. 

AlphaCode ranked in the top 54% of participants in programming competitions for testing in its first outings and will likely improve dramatically as most Deepmind projects do. This is on the road to AI interface development without having to code.

Learning to Code

Learning to Code
Young man analyzing a video screen while learning to code.

If you’re just learning to code you will find information and exercises all over the internet to help you grow your skills. Companies like AI.Google leads you to websites like Kaggle and Udacity Intro to Artificial Intelligence that have lots of free information and courses to help you get started.

Although you need Coding and Math skills for a career in AI, don’t let it stop you if you are not familiar with them yet. For instance, statistics are important for analyzing data but statistics are not necessarily math even though it uses forms of math. Once you learn AI, you need to know how to code and do some math if you want to write your own AI programs and understand the algorithms.

Any skills that you add to your knowledge bases, like coding or math, are essential for your growth and are special skills. In coding, most people who use it either know or have worked with multiple program languages like C++, Javascript, and Python.

The Importance of Coding in AI

You can learn aspects of AI without knowing how to code, and if you need a little bit of code to understand what you are learning, it is easy to find the most basic coding information online.

When you first learn AI, you are not building or programming anything on the first day. All of the training modules and applications you are using are already programmed for you, at least when you first start. You are using these pre-made programs to learn AI, and when you first start, you are not making anything too complicated, so everything is already built for you.

Once you learn AI, you might want to learn how to make your own programs and applications. If you want to do this on your own, you need to learn how to code or use an application that does it for you. 

The good news is that you do not need to know a lot of code if you want to make basic simple AI programs. You can start with small, basic programs with the code you know. Then, as you learn more code, you can make more detailed programs. Creating AI is a great way to supplement learning how to code.

Once you know how to use AI and understand some basic coding, you will have the skills you need to get a job in the AI and machine learning fields or just play around as a hobby. 

The Importance of Math in AI

The Importance of Math in AI
The Importance of Math in AI

A deeper understanding of advanced mathematics is required if you eventually want to do Neural Network and Machine Learning research. A computer science degree or job is also going to need advanced mathematics.

The point of this article is not to tell you that you don’t need math but to inspire you to look into Artificial Intelligence as a field or hobby. This article also talks about the progress in the AI field to help the average person work with programs eventually that will do advanced mathematics for you. 

Advanced math is not necessary to learn AI when you start, but you need to know basic math and eventually algebra, calculus, and probability. Similar to the coding section above, a background in math would help you learn AI. The part of AI that uses a lot of mathematics is the algorithms and programs behind AI, which is not what you will be learning, at least not at first. 

What Kind of Math Do They Use in AI?

If you do decide to learn more math to improve your understanding of AI, there are a few important topics that you should focus on:

  • Linear Algebra: Vectors, matrices, component analysis, value decomposition
  • Calculus: Functions, derivatives, gradients, and gradient algorithms 
  • Probability and Statistics: Variables, distributions, variance, basic and advanced statistics 

With these skills, you will be able to analyze data and learn and write your own AI algorithms. 

When you work in AI, you need to know statistics since you will analyze data and perform other data science processes. AI requires a ton of data to be effective, so you need to understand how data and data analysis work

Knowing data analysis is especially important if you are learning AI for your business, and it is an excellent skill to have if you want to find a job in the data science industry. You will need to know how to use statistics to analyze the data from AI to understand and improve your business. 

If you have a math background, specifically calculus and linear algebra, you will understand how AI works. You can understand and write the algorithms behind AI with an understanding of mathematics.

AI Jobs Where Coding or Math Is Important

AI Jobs Where Coding or Math Is Important
AI Jobs Where Coding or Math Is Important

Although you do not need coding or math to learn AI, if you want to get a job in one of these fields, you will need to have knowledge in both of these skills. You will also need to continue to increase your coding and math skills throughout your career.

Here are a few examples of typical jobs in the AI field and the skills that you need if you want to get one of these jobs:

  • Data Scientist: Data scientists have been around for a long time, but the number of roles within the AI field is increasing. As a data scientist, you use programming and statistics to analyze lots of data and interpret what the data means. Without programming technology, an AI analyzing substantial data sets would be difficult, so coding is essential.
  • Machine Learning Engineer: This is one of the most common AI jobs. These engineers must have a strong background in many software skills, including coding, usually Java and Python, software development, and using programs they code to analyze large data sets.
  • Robot Scientists: Robotics is one of the biggest fields within AI, and many companies are hiring people to create robots to use within their respective fields. Robot scientists need to have a strong foundation in math and computer science, usually with a degree in one or both. In roles like this one, robot scientists write and continue to improve the code that makes AI robots work as efficiently as they do.

If you want to have an understanding of how AI works in the real world and what jobs and industries use AI, check out the book Real World AI: A Practical Guide for Responsible Machine Learning (available on Amazon.com). The book has a few dozen stories about AI use in businesses worldwide. 

AI Jobs Where Coding or Math Is Not So Important

All people need math to some extent and in these jobs listed you do not need coding or math as much as the other skills listed. If you can earn knowledge in at least one of these skills, if not both it is a great benefit. 

Below are a few jobs, of the many in the AI field and the skills that you need if you want to get one of these jobs where coding or math Is not a prerequisite :

  • Marketing and Sales: Artificial intelligence and machine learning knowledge are highly beneficial in an AI product you are marketing or selling. In these positions, you will develop business and technical strategies for product marketing and sales. Although knowing code is not necessary for these careers it is always a benefit.
  • Project Manager: Project Managers have knowledge in many areas but are not necessarily experts in every one of those. Project managers plan, design, and execute solutions. They schedule and measure the progress of projects and assess the risks. Project managers escalate issues and solve them and they can manage and hire teams, people, and or subcontractors for their projects. Project managers use math and spreadsheets but not necessarily advanced mathematics as well as programs. Again, although knowing code is not necessary for this career it can be an amazing benefit.
  • Software Tester: AI software testers evaluate and test new or modified software to verify that programs function. They write, revise, and verify quality standards and test procedures for program design and product evaluation. They review new or modified programs, including documentation, diagrams, and flow charts, to verify performance according to user requests and guidelines. Depending on the company and software, knowing code can often be unnecessary. Still, it can be beneficial through analytics and knowledge.
  • AI Tech Support Specialist: AI Tech Support Specialists don’t use code or math so much. Still, they need strong written and verbal communication skills and experience troubleshooting AV and Networking issues. Configuration, including wireless, router settings, and Internet security software. Depending on the company, experience with GoogleDocs or MS Office productivity and communication tools and knowledge of Mac/PC, Android, iOS operating systems, and AI technologies.

How Do You Learn AI?

If you want to learn AI, how do you actually learn it?

To learn AI, you first need to understand what AI is and what skills you need to learn it, other than coding and math. Then, you need to get started with some free online resources. 

Skills Needed To Learn AI

First, while you have heard of AI, you need to know exactly what it is before you start learning it. This video from Raj Ramesh on Youtube gives a quick but easy to understand explanation of AI:

So what skills other than coding and math do you need to know to learn AI?

  • The most important part of learning AI is understanding how algorithms and models work. The AI creators make models and algorithms which you can use as a beginner to learn and use AI whichever way you like. All you need to know to use these algorithms and models is what data you want to put into them. Then you just need to interpret what the results are. 
  • Another skill you need when learning AI is patience. AI is still pretty new, and the technology behind it is always improving, but that does not mean that it is perfect, and it does not mean that it can always do what you expect it to do.

Until you can write your own algorithms, you may need to play around with the AI algorithms that are out there until you can get the results you want. Just because you know how to use AI and have usable data, this does not mean that it will immediately produce perfect results.

Learn AI Resources

There are plenty of online courses that teach beginner AI, some of which are free, and some are paid. 

For example, you could use Udemy Data Science: Master Machine Learning Without Coding to learn the begining concepts of AI in just over two and a half hours without having to understand or write any code. 

Or, you can find a video to teach you AI. On Youtube, Edureka! has a full course on AI. The first course is just under five hours long and teaches you some basics of AI, including its history, the definitions you need to know, and the different types of AI. Then it gets into the deeper topics where you learn how to use AI.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts
If you want to understand how AI works and how to use it, start with your own research.

If you want to understand how AI works and how to use it, start with your own research on articles like this one, videos, and online resources on the internet. You can also take high school or college courses in person or online.

As we have discussed math and coding are not the basis for every career in the Artificial intelligence industry or community. Math and coding are used behind the scenes of AI, and you can learn these subjects at your own pace and speed especially if you want to write your own AI programs and processes. You would also need to understand math and coding if you ever wanted to get a job in an AI field.

In the 70’s and the beginning of personal computing, everything was in BASIC and Syntax Languages and Apple and Microsoft changed everything. Someday soon though just like then there will be applications and programs that let you work around math and coding in the artificial intelligence fields and certain areas altogether.

References:

John Mortensen

I was a project manager and am a technology and science enthusiast who loves to study the latest technology, such as AI, smartphones, headphones, and software.

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