AI Scholar Challenge

What have I been up to?

Hey there, it’s been a while since I last wrote (about 9 months) but I’m back and raring to get this show on the road 😂 Life’s been mixed with ups and many downs but the tumultuous period I’ve gone through has been full of invaluable life lessons that have led to more personal happiness and increased my probability of success in this epic game of life!

One of the key insights I gained last year is the importance of creating and sustaining stable foundations.  To that end, I have spent the first four months of this year fixing what was broken! This effort has taken the form of a theme/mini-mission for each month. I’ve found this to be an effective way of implementing behavioural change especially as it’s simple to define growth criteria when there’s just one major target instead of trying (and failing) to meet the requirements of multiple initiatives.  Below is a brief summary of changes I’ve been working on:

  • January: Consistency as a habit
  • February: Fixing my diet
  • March: Working on prioritising my mental health
  • April: Making physical activity a default go-to daily habit

It’s been tough executing on the above but the wellbeing and internal stability I have been experiencing has been absolutely incredible! I’ve discovered the prerequisite habits that engender my internal contentment and help me to sustain a healthy functioning baseline! I no longer feel as if I’m living on a foundation of sand where unexpected circumstances can knock me over (for a while). Instead, I am more anchored than I have felt in a very long time, my mindset is more anti-fragile and I rejoice in embracing the uncertainty of reality!

What am I doing now?

Now that I have several fundamental habits in place, I am at a place where I can pursue higher-level endeavours with greater confidence, enthusiasm and self-discipline. I recently built a machine learning curriculum with the majority of courses based on high quality, freely available material. Thanks to Twitter, I became aware of the OpenAI Scholars program. Whilst I would have loved to do this, it was only open to US residents hence I am unable to participate. Even though I am unable to study deep learning full-time for 3 months (since I gotta work to pay the bills), won’t receive any mentorship/be part of the slack group and  won’t get $25,000 in AWS credits, I believe that by adhering to a similar framework, I can help to improve diversity in the field!

Due to the aforementioned limitations, my framework will differ. I will:

  • Study machine learning & deep learning for 12 months (initially part-time  & later full-time)
  • Write a weekly blog post geared towards the community on my learning endeavours
  • Build and open source at least one project during the pursuit of my curriculum

I have so far worked through:

The OpenAI scholars programme has some prerequisites. I am currently refreshing my knowledge of the required math via the following recommended articles:

What’s next on the hit list?

After the above resources have been completed (this week 🙏🏾), I will be focusing exclusively on one of the most highly recommended courses for getting into deep learning: Practical deep learning for coders by Rachel Thomas and Jeremy Howard. I’m investing time in this course because of the emphasis on the top-down approach to learning, practical methodology (I learn best by doing) and supportive community.  The next post will be on Friday 25th!


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