Daily Practices for Building AI/ML Skills


Are you interested in building your skills in artificial intelligence and machine learning? Do you wonder about the best practices for learning and progressing in this field? Whether you are a student, a professional, or simply curious about AI/ML, there are various daily practices that can help you enhance your skills. In this article, we will explore some insights and recommendations shared by the community on the popular platform Hacker News.

Bottom-Up vs. Top-Down Approach

When it comes to learning AI/ML, there is an ongoing debate about the best approach - bottom-up or top-down. Those who advocate for the bottom-up approach believe in understanding the fundamentals before diving into complex techniques like deep learning. They suggest starting with courses in statistics, followed by learning traditional ML algorithms such as SVM, linear regression, and naive Bayes. This approach enables a thorough understanding of the field and empowers learners to make informed decisions when selecting models for different problems. It also helps in grasping the underlying mathematics and principles that drive these algorithms.

On the other hand, proponents of the top-down approach argue that starting with practical applications and projects can be more engaging and motivating. They suggest implementing papers and working on projects like training neural networks, fine-tuning models, and participating in Kaggle competitions. This hands-on approach provides a deeper understanding of the concepts by learning through doing.

The Importance of Projects and Implementations

One recurring theme in the comments is the value of projects and implementations in learning AI/ML. Many individuals emphasized that working on projects is a highly effective way to gain deeper knowledge and practical skills. Implementing a paper, training neural networks on simple functions, building MNIST digit classifiers, fine-tuning models on specialized corpora, and training Siamese neural networks were suggested as potential projects. These projects not only help in understanding the concepts but also provide hands-on experience in solving real-world problems.

The Role of Formal Education

There were differing opinions on the role of formal education in building AI/ML skills. While some individuals expressed that they learned everything on their own and formal education was unnecessary, others highlighted the benefits of academic programs. One commenter with a master’s degree in ML acknowledged that most of what they learned could have been self-taught, but emphasized that the structure and pressure of school played a crucial role in keeping them focused and motivated. The diploma itself was also seen as an advantage when it comes to job opportunities.

Finding the Right Balance

Ultimately, the right approach to building AI/ML skills depends on individual preferences, goals, and resources. A good balance between theory and practice, as well as personal motivation, seems to be key. The bottom-up approach can provide a solid foundation in the fundamentals, while the top-down approach can offer practical experience and immediate application. It is important to find what resonates with you and keeps you engaged.


Building AI/ML skills requires a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Whether you choose the bottom-up or top-down approach, the key is to practice consistently and work on projects that challenge and expand your understanding. It is also essential to stay up to date with the latest developments and techniques in the field. With dedication, perseverance, and a passion for learning, you can develop your AI/ML skills and stay ahead in this rapidly evolving field. So, go ahead and start your journey towards becoming an AI/ML expert!

Note: The comments used in this article have been paraphrased for brevity and clarity.

Latest Posts