Want to spend 10 Saturdays this fall learning about artificial intelligence, data science and deep learning — for free?
Two local tech leaders are offering a chance to do just that as part of a structured study group program called AI Saturdays, or AI6.
They’ll be using a course that more than 5,000 people in at least 50 cities around the world have taken, according to organizers.
“We want to grow the technological community here,” said Rich Everts, who with Wesley Roberts will facilitate the group.
Everts is CEO of Sugey, a Lancaster-based company focused on using artificial intelligence to help people with conditions like Alzheimers or severe autism live with dignity.
Participants will meet from Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting Sept. 8. More information and registration is available at lancasterai.com.
The site says the only prerequisite is high school math “and a ton of passion.”
“If you don’t have any programming experience it’s going to be harder, but you can do it; you’re going to have to sit down and put the time in,” Everts said. “Come out to the first couple of sessions, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to keep doing it.”
The course isn’t necessarily enough on its own to qualify someone for a job, but could be a good start, according to Everts — who noted that it’s “a high-reward kind of industry.”
Penn Manor School District technology director Charlie Reisinger said he’ll be making sure students know about the group.
“There’s massive growth in this area,” Reisinger said of AI, noting that it’s behind everything from self-driving cars to language translation, and that he thinks it will play a large role in shaping the world of tomorrow.
Stephanie Schwartz is a professor of computer science at Millersville University, who said she knows a lot of the materials they’ll be using.
“AI techniques are definitely making their way more and more into mainstream companies because there are so many good resources and tools that companies can use instead of having to build them themselves,” she said, noting that many businesses want to know how to best reach their customers and how to use the data they’ve collected.
Schwartz noted that she thinks the material is probably best suited to those who have some programming experience, and that the group “looks like a great opportunity for anyone who’s interested.”