It is not always easy to get started in AI. In fact, it is often tough for tech enthusiasts to know where exactly to begin their journey down the AI rabbit hole.
“The promises of AI are well known, but not a lot of people have the formal education needed to get started,” say core members of the Global AI Community. “So, we wanted to help educate people and connect them to experts that have gone through the learning process before.”
MVPs Willem Meints, from the Netherlands, Eva Pardi, from Denmark, and Sammy Deprez, from Belgium, are key organizers of the community group which empowers developers who are passionate about AI to share knowledge through events and meetups.
The mission of Global AI Community is simple: to connect AI communities across the world to share ideas and content with each other. The community wants to enable AI enthusiasts and professionals to join local user groups, connect with like-minded peers, or start their own user group.
Typically, Global AI Community hosts three annual AI events across 100 locations that span every corner of the globe. More recently, however, getting people to come together has posed somewhat of a challenge.
In order to overcome the complications posed by COVID-19, the group’s most recent event, Global AI Virtual, brought users together online for 36 hours in October.
“We've had a large number of tweets and emails telling us how inspiring the sessions are,” the team says. “We’ve seen some people that started using cognitive services thanks to a demo by Veronika, and Marian who demonstrated those during the first episode of the October Sessions.”
“We hope that by bringing together different experts into our online streams, we inspire people to start using AI.”
“With this experience in our pocket, we want to go back to local meetups and help them to get online too.”
While in-person events remain on the agenda -- like The Global AI Bootcamp in January 2021 -- there is the potential for hybrid events which merge the real world and the online world to ultimately bring more people to the meetups, the team says.
For the team, they remain passionate about the complete story that Microsoft AI technologies enable. “Microsoft AI users can start with the cognitive service and learn what AI can do for their app without having to learn any of the maths or statistics stuff,” they say.
“Then, when they’re ready, these users can start using the customizable versions of the cognitive services. And as their knowledge and requirements grow, they can start to use Azure Machine Learning Service to set up a machine learning pipeline and experimentation environment!”
Global AI Community works closely with product teams at Microsoft to share workshop content about the newest Azure AI products. Further, the group also provides a variety of resources to members of the community, including a free Meetup Pro account for user groups, event-in-a-box content, Azure passes, and support for booking Microsoft venues.
For more on this global community of AI educators and enthusiasts, check out the GitHub and Twitter @GlobAICommunity.