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April 28, 2023

Getting Started with AI from Scratch — Friday Thoughts

Getting Started with AI from Scratch — Friday Thoughts

With AI trending everywhere and new developments seemingly every day, I am often asked, “How to get started with AI”. Here’s my response:

1. If you have no knowledge of coding at all.

Start by signing up at Replit, they have a mobile and web app. This will be the place you build and removes all the hassle of setting up a coding environment. Next, go to W3Schools and complete the basic sections of the HTML, CSS, and Python tutorials. The concepts are simple, and you’ll be familiar with the foundations in a few hours.

2. Signup for ChatGPT on OpenAI.

Now we’re going to ask ChatGPT to help us build a simple application. There are many examples of what you can build. Some viral examples in recent weeks include a Chrome extension, a one-page website and even an autonomous bot that does research!

Whatever you decide to do, tell ChatGPT what you’re building and then ask it to write the code step by step. You might start with: “I’m building a one-page website for a restaurant, I need your help, we will be building on Replit”; the response will include detailed setup instructions. You can then ask further questions, like: “Add a section for the menu and contact information”. And so on. When you encounter errors or have questions, let ChatGPT know, and it will usually be able to resolve them quickly.

3. Try the image generators.

I usually recommend, MidJourney, and OpenAI’s DALL-E as good places to start. If you’ve never written prompts before, you can do a simple search on Lexica to get a good idea of what you should write and then start writing your own or editing the ones you find, for example. If you want to learn more on how to “prompt”, AI Legend Andrew Ng has a 1 hour course here.

4. Once you’re feeling more confident, it’s time to try running an autonomous agent.

The two most popular are AutoGPT and BabyAGI. You can find the code on Github and get ChatGPT to explain how to set it up, step by step. Once you have it running, you might try some more complex research tasks like: create a travel itinerary for a couple in Italy for 2 weeks, or write a business plan for starting an ice cream store in New York.

For these more complex tasks, the system will create and ask itself questions, however, there are still plenty of accuracy issues, as there are with all these cutting-edge systems.

Have fun. Let me know what you build!

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Ash Rust

Ash Rust

Managing Partner, Sterling Road

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