Taking the day off was a great idea. Every now and again having a Wednesday off is great. Part of the day was devoted to taking the AWS certified machine learning specialty beta exam. The whole process took about two hours and was very interesting. The PSI system took a little bit to setup and get running. The actual exam part took about 90 minutes. It has been a bit since my last adventure to a testing facility. It was pretty much exactly the way I remember it being.
It has been some time since I last fell asleep during an epic studying session. It was probably back in graduate school. Those days were fun, but they seem like forever ago. Let me set the state for you a little bit for a moment. My Dell ultra wide monitor was playing some AWS videos on one side and a document was open on the other half of the monitor. My entire focus was on what the presenter was saying then all of a sudden my hands hit the keyboard and my attention jerked back into focus. It had happened all of a sudden. Sure enough for a minute or two I had fallen asleep during some AWS training videos on my day off in the middle of the day. Maybe the right way to look at it is to assume my cup was full and it was time for a nap. Perhaps it was an unplanned power nap. It was most definitely not part of my machine learning and artificial intelligence learning plan for the day. Today was a day that was entirely devoted to learning and studying. That was what made it such an interesting day. It was full of possibility. Oddly enough, it also was a day that that included an impromptu nap.
For some reason today was for better or worse devoted to watching some football. This Saturday was full of college football conference championship games. To that end, today was a day without a ton of machine learning classes. Throughout the last year I have been listening to a variety of Dune books. Audiobooks are interesting, but they do tend to distract me at the end of the day. Sometimes a little bit of distraction is required. Maybe that little bit might be more than what my Pandora internet streaming stations could provide. To that end sometimes listening to an audiobook was the right way to shift my thoughts to something different before falling asleep. A ton of the Google Cloud Platform and AWS content has been consumed in that hour or so before falling asleep. Trading out my relaxation time for some deeper learning was the right thing to do. It was something that helped me power forward toward a deeper understanding of machine learning. So much artificial intelligence related content is now available mostly for free or a nominal charge.
Tonight, I finished listening to the last hour of the 2016 audiobook, “Navigators of Dune.” It was mostly derivative and the plotlines were shallower than the classic story told by Frank Herbert. That does not really make it bad content, but it does help explain how it is a lesser contribution to the world of science fiction novels. I’ll need to pick another audio book collection sometime this month. Within the Google Books application a few suggestions have popped up, but I am not entirely sure what direction I want to go with my listening adventures.
All of my spare time is being devoted to working on AWS training and certification this week. The one class that really caught my attention was the course, “Seeing Clearly: Computer Vision Theory.” With the announcement of the new AWS DeepRacer and corresponding league it seemed like a good thing to think about and dig into today. Digging in is the fun part of being a lifelong learner. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the DeepRacer announcement. It is a good method to help build models. It sounds like a very interesting thing to push forward models at an accelerated rate. Seeing what happens will be pretty interesting throughout the next year.
This whole thing looks like it would be fun to do with my first grader. Maybe that would be a good enough reason to buy the racer car and start building models. I really do think this is a method to get people to produce a bunch of distributed models to farm out the work without having to pay top talent. It is a pretty good strategy to get a market edge or to in some ways change the market. People would probably watch this type of racing league.
I just did the “Introduction to Amazon Machine Learning” hands-on demo from Qwiklabs for free. Apparently, Qwiklabs has about 35 free hands on demos that you can do right now for fun to learn and grow your skills. That as you might have already guessed is pretty darn cool and a great opportunity to sharpen your skillset. You can login to Qwiklabs –> Catalog –> Filter: Price –> Free. That should let you check out what hands-on labs might inspire you to start learning today… If that does not inspire you to start digging into the world of machine learning I do not know what will. It is fairly amazing that we have access to free online hands-on labs. Labs are one of the best ways to really see the technology in action. Sure, you can watch a demo, but that type of learning is not the same opportunity. Being able to really dig in and poke around is what makes a hands-on lab so impactful.