About This Site

We first wrote this microsite in April 2017 specifically as a starting place for business and technical people just beginning their journeys with artificial intelligence.

Since we first published this microsite in April 2017, there have been a number of breakthroughs and advances in the field of AI. In 2020, we saw the launch of GPT-3, the AlphaFold breakthrough in protein folding, the continued rise of data systems, and more. While we have not updated this guide to reflect all of these breakthrough, it remains a great initial guide for anyone involved in creating, managing, or green lighting software and want to understand how AI can give your software super powers (as Andrew Ng is fond of saying).

We do not assume you have a computer science degree. The people we had in mind for this microsite include:

  • A software developer trying to get a broad overview of the products and services available
  • A business analyst, product manager, marketing manager, or consultant who has heard that machine learning could help improve the product they are responsible for but doesn’t have the time to go through all the options
  • A data scientist looking to broaden their toolkit from basic statistical techniques to the latest and greatest AI toolkits
  • A line of business leader trying to figure out the right way for their organization to put intelligence into their team’s software, processes, and culture

Along the way, we’ll explore software that will help you understand if your customers are excited by your products. We’ll compare how the big public cloud providers like Amazon, Google, Microsoft (and now Nvidia) fare vs. startups in identifying what’s in an image or picture. Then we’ll fire up Google’s TensorFlow and train a deep learning model that will give your phone the AI superpower of recognizing business cards.

For people who like linear tours, we’ve provided a navigation menu on the side and links at the bottom of every page that guide from the first room to the end. Feel free to visit the table of contents to get to the exact topic you want to explore.

Enjoy the journey. We’re excited about the potential for artificial intelligence to make our software smarter and easier to use, and be a better bicycle for our minds.

Frank Chen ([email protected] / @withfries2) on behalf of the a16z team.

A big hat tip to our friend Diego Doval who built the original site, generated most of the code samples, and drafted the text based on some very high level, hand-wavy guidance. A shout out also to contributors Delip Rao of Joostware, Mark Palatucci at Anki, and my partners Sonal Chokshi and Michael Wee at a16z.

What Can You Do with AI?