A few months ago, I wrote about starting my journey on my career change to become a more technical person. I had just passed my first MS (Microsoft) fundamental exam and was planning on my second. Well since then I have passed 3 more fundamental exams, the SC-900, AZ-900 and AI-900. These courses have really broadened my horizon and I have really enjoyed doing them, even if it has been slightly overwhelming to learn just how much is out there.
The latest one I have completed was the AI-900 (Artificial Intelligence) which was introduced to me by my mentor. On his recommendation I watched a documentary called AlphaGO to learn more about AI (which you can watch on YouTube here AlphaGo – The Movie | Full award-winning documentary – YouTube I recommend it)
which piqued my interest and after reading more about the subject, I now think I have found the area I want to study. Why? Because of how much help it can be to people. For instance, a computer could read a letter or webpage to a blind/ visually impaired person. It can listen to their voice and take instructions from them to perform tasks, that for them, could be more difficult than for other people. For a deaf person it could listen to what someone is saying and turn it into text for them so they can read what is being said to them, as not everyone knows BSL. (British sign language) These simple things can make the world a lot more accessible to people who deal with more challenges than others.
There are plenty of other business benefits to AI. For example, you can use BOT’s to help deal with customer queries in a busy call centre. I can even see ways in which a BOT could improve my own department, helping ease the workload of the department for queries we get asked all the time.
Currently my opinions and knowledge are idealistic and basic, but one day I would love to be in a position where I am working as part of a team to build an AI project that can help improve someone’s quality of life. There are loads of other uses for it, and the learning capabilities of AI are constantly growing, so the amount that it can be used for to help people will grow with it, and there will always be plenty to learn.
Working towards this goal, I have taken and passed the AI-900 using the online guides that Microsoft provide. The guides are easy to follow and explain things clearly allowing me to build some basic projects using Microsoft’s various AI tools. Using a Visual studio licence, I have been able to learn and play with the Azure portal itself, rather than just reading about it. Also, to help me down this path I have a mentor. I would recommend doing this as it is good to have someone to help and guide you when you are learning something that is new to you. It is very daunting and there is only so much an online search engine can help you with when things go wrong, or you get stuck using written guides.
There have been some benefits to all this studying for me personally. It has helped me improve my job performance and helped me with my career prospects. Completing these exams has given me the confidence that if I keep working at it, one day, I could become an IT professional myself. I hope that one day I will be another example of someone who has worked their way up into their job role within risual.
So, what’s next- a bit of a challenge an intermediate MS exam. There will be some hurdles. One of which will be learning a programming language. Challenges for me personally have always been something of a barrier in my mind. There are always challenges when trying to learn a new skill and overcoming them is part of the learning process.