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Blog: Learn AI Through Collaboration, Not Through Competition.


Learn with and from others, get real-world experience, and be part of a global community.

I have not won any title or represented my country but I am proud of myself

This is what Abhiyana wrote to us when she sent her application to work on our UN Nepal project. The goal of the project is to build a Machine Learning model for crop type identification on satellite images to improve crop yield.

This project and all other projects of us are based on collaboration and shared learning among its members.

However, growing up we have been repeatedly told through the education system that the world revolves around ‘Survival of the fittest’.

We have to be on the top to be someone, to be proud of ourselves.

Our education system has always taught us to compete and try to be the best.

But what about those who are left behind? Who are not at the top?

Is there a way to engage more people by helping each other and learn and grow together?

Crowd wisdom and shared learning

Why groups can outperform individual performance.

A century ago, in 1906, the great statistician Francis Galton showed the power of the crowd where he proved that wisdom of the crowd can be extremely powerful.

At the International Exhibition in London, he came across a weight-judging competition. An ox had been selected and placed on display, and members of a gathering crowd were lining up to place wagers on the weight of the ox. Eight hundred people tried their luck. They were a diverse lot; many non-experts and experts competed. In the end, the crowd had guessed that the ox would weigh 1,197 pounds; it actually weighed 1,198 pounds. In other words, the crowd´s judgment was essentially perfect.

We want to take the same concept and show that we can bring people together who struggle to find a crowd that helps them to learn and improve their skills. People who have been mostly invisible in traditional work and educational settings.

Let us build something awesome together.

In fact, let us build something better than the best in the world can do. That is the power of community collaboration.

I receive messages from people all over the world every day, who are interested to work on AI and ML, but who may not be on the top of the pyramid and feel left out.

Many of them show extremely high intrinsic motivation, which is most important to us. In the following are some answers I received.

Why are you a good fit for the community?

‘I’m a good fit for the community because I’m super passionate about helping others! I deeply sympathize for those who are struggling to get by and survive and wish to help them live better lives. — Albert Lai‘

‘I am sponsoring for the education of one child every year through SOS village, which I am really proud of. I strongly believe we need to give back to society. I hope to do something good for society through AI technology one day.‘

‘The idea of a community driven by enthusiasts, who are highly interested in research and studying topic, applies deeply to my heart. It is an awesome idea to have a community where people simultaneously work together, study and teach each other.’

‘ Being part of the community always encourages us to learn more and apply for a better life. As I am in my learning phase, I don’t want to concentrate my learning for financial benefits only but also for community uplifts’

‘ I think AI should decrease the gap between rich and poor and I want to use my time and effort to do so and bring real change.

What is the biggest achievement in your life?

‘I am a regular blood donor.‘

‘Definitively I am most proud of my family. I am a father of 3 children and I consider it as most difficult but also most challenging activity of my life ;-)‘

‘I could switch from being an Economist to a Software Developer, learning all I need independently by myself.‘

‘Multitasking with a small kid and entering and excelling in the world of ML.‘

Introducing Collaborative Learning

This is what brings us together and make us humans. The future is in collaboration, not competition. One of the most honest and down to earth answers I got was regarding the question, “What was the most complicated ML task you did and why was it so complex?”

‘It is difficult because I could not understand anything’ – Rabin Ghimire

Do you want to be part of a global community with people from different skill sets and continents?

Join our Global Collaborative AI Challenge

We are organizing a Global Collaborative AI Challenge where enthusiasts from five continents will work with leading mentors to solve a social impact problem through AI.

Apply here.

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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