I'm a member of a small startup. When we decided to look at including a bit of AI in our product, I was asked to investigate, simply because I found it interesting and had taken a few AI/Machine Learning courses at uni (undergrad).
Today, I'm now the lead of the central AI component of our product. The only problem, I need (and want) more experience in the area.
If this was a usual position, I'd assume I'd join a large department, and spend time learning and growing under senior developers with lots of experience in the field. The old saying "Surround yourself with people better than you".
As it stands today, because of lack of experience, most of the decisions I'm making are trial and error, which is slowing us down. Without completely understanding the state of the industry, we'd often spend a fair amount of time implementing a solution, only to discover a month later that we were reinventing the wheel, or doing something that was known to be ineffective. And naturally, I'm not going to be providing the best environment of growth for the people in the company doing AI work under me.
Admittedly, I've definitely grown in skill a lot since I'd started in my position, however I would still hesitate to describe myself as anything more that having an "intermediate" skill level in the field.
To make this a valuable question to anyone:
What are practical steps my company or I could take to quickly bring us up to speed in a field where the company's experience is more or less self-taught?
In our case, we probably don't have the resources to bring in massive experience, but any advice about that would still be appreciated.