Starting from Scratch

1 minute read


Starting From Scratch

I’ve been excited about AI since I was about seven years old. When I was a kid, my Dad told me stories about the sci-fi books he read, and I always thought the most interesting ones were about AI. I loved imagining that one day computers might think like people do, and that this could give us new insights into humanity. By the time I was in high school, I was dreaming of how to transfer my mind into a robot body and wondering whether I would still be conscious. I don’t know if these things will be possible in my lifetime, but they sparked my imagination, and my interest in AI has only grown over time.

I’ve spent many years reading news stories about AI and thinking “I wish I could do that”. But I haven’t studied machine learning and I don’t have a PhD, and honestly I’ve felt intimidated pursuing the field. I didn’t know whether someone like me could even get into this. So, after a number of years of doing other work and dreaming of AI, I finally decided I had to try (with some encouragment of my wonderful partner). :-) So, I applied for the OpenAI Scholars Program and, much to my surprise, I was accepted into the 2020 cohort.

Now that I’m in the program, I want to share my process learning about something exciting and new to me. My hope is that seeing someone else starting from scrtach will inspire you to start (this or something else) from scratch as well. That’s why I’ve called this blog “Learning Out Loud”. I plan to learn out loud in front of you (and of course the pun is that I’m also going to be talking out loud about learning, both human and artificial). I know, my witty puns are suuuuper funny. ;-P Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading about my process of discovery, and I especially hope that if you’re excited and unsure whether to pursue this kind of work, then this blog can help give you the spark of courage and excitement to push you forward too. :-)