How to keep up with the fast development of AI?

This is the question that many beginners and even better ones struggle with. AI is a fast developing area and due to that, it is not as easy to keep up as it is with JavaScript updates. I believe that I have found a great way to read the newest information in a little time.

Twitter

Most of the readers know how to use Twitter but this is a really important part because I’m going to tell how to read Twitter feed full of papers, links, and opinions. First I had a problem of finding enough time to read everything and feed started to grow faster than I read. I solved this by dividing the work into two pieces.

The first piece is something I call quick read. This means that I try to read the newest things on my feed by just looking at the text of a tweet. If the tweet seems interesting I press like button. I spend max 10 seconds per tweet but I read every tweet and try to understand what it is about. You can do this step when you are commuting because you can stop whenever needed and it requires max 10 seconds of focus. This is a great way to use those ten minutes in bus, train, or subway.

The second piece is to read those likes. Open your own profile and go to the likes. Scroll down where ever you left last time. Read the liked tweets one by one and click all links and try to understand what those are about. For example, if I have a link to a Medium post, I often first read the headlines and try to understand what it is trying to tell. If it seems interesting, I will read the full article. This is a time-consuming process but needed to understand the newest things. It is important that you liked only the most important tweets so you don’t have to now spend that much time opening irrelevant links.

I spend about three days a week reading my likes. It is often before going to sleep and it takes 1–2 hours. It requires more focus and that is why I recommend to do it in a place where you have time to concentrate. Notice that if someone shares a paper I’m not going to read those right now. Reading paper requires more time. Later I’m going to explain how to read papers.

Who I should follow on Twitter? There are many good researchers, teachers, students, and other people that are sharing great stuff. Who you should follow? There is again this same problem of having too many options. I recommend to first follow 1–5 person that you know. For example teachers of the courses, you have watched. Same time you are not getting too much information right away and you have time to practice this thing. I assure that those 1–5 people are retweeting tweets from other persons and that is how you start to follow other people. Maybe you read a great Medium post from someone or find a course that is perfect and you want to follow that person. Try to not follow everyone because then your feed becomes a big mess which is hard to keep up. I would say that 10–50 is the optimal number of followings. And don’t follow a lot of companies because they are sharing everything they do and most of it is irrelevant. You get the important findings by following other people.

“Really successful people say no to almost everything.”
Warren Buffett

If you don’t know anyone or you just want tweets from a variety of people, you can follow me. I’m going to use this technique so you should see my likes on your feed.

Papers

First of all, you need to decide what is the format you want to read the paper. I prefer printed paper because then I can easily make markings and save it for later use. If you like reading on phone then I recommend using some PDF reader where you can highlight text and add comments. It is important to have those features because again this is not a book reading. I often first check the headers and the graphs before reading anything. Then I read abstract and introductions. I try to get a basic understanding of the paper. Then I will read the other parts too. The first time you should get some understanding of what the paper is about. Then read it the second time from beginning to end by searching all terms that are new to you.

Paper reading is a slow process but very thoughtful and important. I often spend 4 days a week reading papers 1–2 hours before going to sleep. This is the only time I have that much time to concentrate on this. I recommend spending at least that time because if you read one page every day you are not going to understand anything. It requires more than one day to understand most of the papers. I often find myself spending one day reading the paper couple of time and the second day reading the paper again and also searching techniques that I don’t understand. If this is not enough then I will spend more days. I try to not stuck into one paper too long. If the topic is hard for me I try to find some articles explaining this by just Googling. If the topic is still hard for me I must admit that I don’t have enough knowledge to read this right now. I will save it somewhere, and later when I have learned more, I will come back to it.

Reddit, Mendeley, andYoutube

The problem with these other platforms is the amount of information. There is too much irrelevant information that no one is filtering it for you. Twitter is a great platform because the worlds top people are spending their time filtering everything for you. It is same as in running competitions no one wants to run at the first. The air resistance is higher and due to that the first need to do a lot useless work. By running behind someone you can move faster and catch others.

Final thoughts

I recommend to follow at least these:

~Lankinen