When you hear the acronym ‘AI’ what’s the first thing that comes to mind? And what does it have to do with AI courses? Well, does the threat of becoming kind of ‘obsolete’, give you the shivers? At least, concerning your knowledge and your understanding of the world?
Well, it shouldn’t. AI is, without a doubt, a really difficult scientific field; at least to the uninitiated. But, the truth is, a deep or at least an introductory understanding of its theoretical concepts broadens your horizons; and supports your potential to grow. That’s definitely among the reasons we decided to offer our startups these AI courses.
We recently completed the first series of our AI courses. And we’re extremely satisfied with the outcome of this initiative. Why don’t we go through the details together?
Prior to these courses, we had also tried our hand at AI. Eight members of our teams had the unique opportunity to participate in a week-long AI summer school. ACAI 2019 was organized by the Technical University of Crete (TUC). This stimulating event was a really enlightening experience for the whole team that participated; and intrigued us further, to dive deeper into the field of AI.
Driven to learn
So, driven by our thirst to learn and grow ourselves – and our startups – we decided to invite a professor familiar to our ecosystem, George Georgakopoulos, to help us demystify AI concepts. Mr. Georgakopoulos is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Crete.
The first lecture took place in November, when Prof. Georgakopoulos visited our offices and conducted a really insightful introductory session on AI.
Fast forward 7 months and 7 AI lectures later; we’re really excited with this initiative of ours, as it paves the way for our next steps. We intend to continue offering our startup members more opportunities to explore further the concepts of artificial intelligence; and other advanced scientific topics, as well. And all that, in a structured format, will involve theory, practice and implementation; as exactly happened in this first attempt of ours.
Why offer AI courses to our startups?
This initiative is not an effort to just take advantage of the existing hype of AI. We’ve got a few studied and well-founded reasons that enabled us to make this strategic decision for our incubator:
Yes, personal development of all of our team members is a major priority for us. We give our startups as many opportunities as we can, to help them expand their skill sets; and, of course, further develop their talents. AI courses were offered to all team members with tech background. We plan to enable additional training opportunities on a variety of scientific fields. Not only the ones that fall under computer science, but also others that go beyond it.
Empowering our incubated entrepreneurs to incorporate AI solutions
None of our existing startups is already exclusively involved in AI with their products. But, we strongly believe that these courses – and the ones that will follow – will help developers implement new and smarter solutions to their products. We believe that knowledge and insights triggered by these courses will prove to be the most valuable byproducts of this entire effort. And by following Lean and Agile methodologies, our startups will be able to gradually level up their startups. And it’s all going to happen in the near future.
We’re open to welcoming the future AI startup
Even if that sounds quite distant as a goal, it is certainly in our long-term agenda. As we’ve previously done with cloud computing and other computer science advancements, we’re determined to keep up with tech advancements. And that’s exactly one of the reasons we’re setting the ground for it, in advance.
We’re building our own advanced, internal training system.
Making the most out of our very own TalentLMS platform, we’ve made our AI courses material available to all our team members; and to anyone that may join our teams, in the future. That includes videos and any other supporting resource, as needed. This idea has proven to be very useful during quarantine. And though we’re against remote working, we go to great lengths to provide all team members with all the resources they might need.
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Learning AI: Where do we go from here?
We’re proud that AI is no longer such a black box for us. And certainly, as mentioned, this is only the beginning of our journey towards advanced computer science training courses. A second series of AI courses will be available to our incubated startup teams, in the near future. And we also look forward to our future educational endeavors.