Primer on AI and Machine Learning (Part 1) — Beginners Level (Non-Technical)

Arun Rao
7 min readDec 12, 2019

How should a smart, college-educated person with a fascination about AI but no technical background get up to speed on it? Below are the resources that I would suggest. I offer five strategies to jump in:

  1. Read some introductory articles;
  2. Pick a few books and delve deeper;
  3. Learn about AI/ML ethics;
  4. Take a short-course for non-technical people;
  5. Follow the newsletters that best report on AI/ML.

I also have another post on AI/ML for more technical people (math and CS backgrounds) which is Part 2 here.

1) Articles to Get Acquainted with AI/ML

2) Topical Books on AI/ML

3) Ethics and Governance of AI/ML (for non-technical people)

4) Simple Online Courses to Dive Deeper into AI/ML (for non-technical people)

  • AI For Everyone (Andrew Ng — Deep Learning): Andrew Ng is the brilliant former Stanford AI professor, co-founder of Google Brain (it’s AI group), and Baidu’s AI group. This is his short course explaining AI for the masses.
  • Elements of AI: A decent course set up by the government of Finland (in English and other languages) to teach everyone, everywhere about AI. I wish every national and state government had courses set up like this, customized to the job and automation needs of their region.
  • DeepMind’s “New to AI” videos: A nice series of videos from on the best AI groups in the world (a Google division).

5) The Best AI/ML Newsletters