Artificial intelligence (AI) is the new hot topic because it has incredible applications in the real world.
AI project ideas are a great way to earn credits for college, impress your employer, or spend your Sunday afternoons (instead of bingeing on Netflix).
It’s also a great way to learn new skills that could come in handy if you decide to start a career in artificial intelligence.
I’ve set out the best AI project ideas for beginners below with all of the tutorials and material lists you need to do them.
What Are The Best AI Project Ideas For Beginners?
What Is An AI Project Idea?
AI projects are short term activities that result in a finished ‘product’ and use AI in some way.
These projects can be done for school, college or even as hobbies to use on your resume.
In each AI project idea description, I tell you:
- Difficulty: based on video tutorials and figuring out the projects as a beginner myself.
- Price: $= less than $5, $$ = $5 – $20, $$$ = $20+. Pricing assumes you have access to a computer and internet at no additional cost.
- Project type: This includes coding, hardware and creative. All of the creative projects do not require any coding.
- Requirements: Software/hardware you need for the project.
- Duration: assuming you have basic computer literacy.
I have provided video tutorials that will tell you how to do it (the MOST important part!!)
Okay, Let’s Go!
AI Project Ideas For Beginners
1. Use ChatGPT To Write Code For A Video Game
As easy as game creation gets.
Follow step-by-step to create your own game that you code yourself provided by ChatGPT using guided promts.
A great way for beginners to be introduced to coding.
Requirements: ChatGPT, Visual Studio Code
2. Build Your Own Alexa
Using only a few lines of code, the tutorial below shows you how to make your own virtual assistant from scratch.
Couldn’t think of a better project to talk about in a job interview.
3. Lip Reading Model
It will take stamina, but it will be well worth it if you can persist through this epic project.
Won’t it be incredible when you can boast about your own lip-reading model?
Requirements: OpenCV, Tensorflow, Matplotlib
4. Emotion Detector
Again, this coding project will require some elbow grease.
This is really an awesome project for both adults and teens interested in doing an AI project.
You will learn so much about machine learning, deep learning, and AI from hands-on experience.
Requirements: OpenCV, Tensorflow
5. Task Automation
A few mini-projects acting as potential homework helpers are combined with the same goal – to automate boring, mindless tasks.
By engaging in each of these mini-projects, you will gain the proficiency to automate tasks effortlessly, almost with your eyes shut.
Alternatively, you could focus on just one project to tick the box.
Requirements: Jupyter, Pandas
6. Create An App With MIT App Inventor
AI apps are a brilliant way to interact with the technology. This is a very accessible project for all ages and levels.
MIT has made it easy for anyone to create their own app while learning AI fundamentals.
The tutorials are straightforward and there are lots of great examples to give you inspiration for your app.
I am overstating the time needed – MIT’s website says that you can have an app running within 30 minutes.
Requirements: Smartphone and laptop
7. Spam Email Detector
Wonder how your email provider decides if something is spam? This AI project explains how it works.
Another easy-to-follow tutorial with a dataset included in the description.
Make your own and easily adapt the model after completing.
8. Autonomous Vehicle
Not quite a Tesla, but this autonomous vehicle will give you great insights into AI used in cars.
There are plenty of AI robots and kits out there. I recommend the Twin Science Kit, which is fun and easy to build. The Twin app allows you to control the kit and use it for different applications.
Requirements: Twin Science Autonomous Vehicle Kit
9. Intelligent Camera With Google’s AIY Vision Kit
This AI project is perfect for beginners.
The AIY kit has everything you need to set up the camera and set up the app.
The Vision Kit includes an ‘image classifier’ and ‘joy detector’, along with other applications.
All instructions are in photo form with a text description on the AIY Vision Kit webpage.
Requirements: Smart Phone, SSH app, AIY Vision Kit
10. Facial Recognition Detector
If you want to make your own facial recognition detector, this project is for you.
The tutorial below includes directions for both the hardware and software.
Easy to follow, but there are some tricky bits. The guy running the tutorial has a load of FAQs on his website and also responds to questions in the YouTube comments.
A DIY project designed by google. What I love about this AI project is that it doesn’t require any coding.
There are very crystal clear instructions with photos, making it a beginner-friendly project.
The project website also gives you suggestions on how to tweak the model and make it your own.
12. Automatic Plant Watering Machine
This AI project is for those who want a challenge and really want to get their teeth stuck in.
Or maybe you just love your plants an want to build a watering machine yourself.
Either way, watch the tutorial before you get started and get all your equipment ready. See the source code in the comments of the Youtube video.
If you manage to finish this as a complete beginner, you will have a wild level satisfaction…and some very happy plants!
13. Voice-Controlled Lamp
Similar to building your own Alexa (see project 2), this AI project gives you an insight into how virtual assistants work with voice commands and connected objects.
The project has both a video tutorial and web page with detailed instructions on how to complete it.
If you prefer to follow video tutorials, this project is a bit more tricky as you will be reliant on the written instructions to do the project.
14. Device-Controlled Pet Feeder
This is really cool. I don’t have a pet, but if I did this would be top of my AI project list.
The tutorial provides the source code in the comments. He gives clear instructions on how to make the pet feeder out of cheap and easy to source materials.
However, total beginners will need to work out how to implement the source code. If you need help just contact the tutor via YouTube or his GitHub.
15. Make An AI Image Portfolio Using Generative AI
AI image generation is unbelievable and there is so much choice!
You do not need any artistic ability and you can create any image that you could possibly imagine within seconds.
If you need images for school, for a publication, or for work, AI image generation is the way forward.
Both have free options, but for more images, you will need to purchase the subscriptions ($99/year for Canva and $15/month for DALL-E 2)
16. Write An AI Story
Authors or authors-to-be, do you get writer’s block? We all do.
Coming up with new ideas for stories can be difficult or even getting stuck on certain scenes in a story is common.
AI story generators are a great place to get the juices flowing.
You don’t need to be the best writer in the world, but these tools can give you great ideas for your next book.
Sudo Write has a free trial period and Squibler has a free option. If you are using it just to tinker, then keep it free. On a more professional basis, I recommend going for one of the paid plans.
17. Paint Realistic Images With NVIDIA Canvas
For both artists and non-artists, this AI project is really incredible.
Totally free, the NVIDIA Canvas allows you to make digital artwork using ‘brushstrokes’ that you apply to a canvas that converts into real art.
It’s great for artists to test out new ideas easily, quickly and cheaply.
For people who struggle with their artistic abilities, this tool is a great way to express creativity and produce something you are actually proud to put up on your wall.
Requirements: NVIDIA Canvas desktop app
18. Design Clothes or Fabric Patterns
It was my dream as a teenager to wear clothes that I design.
This is becoming a reality. Not only can you design your own clothes but you can also design fabric prints too (and sell them!!)
This will undoubtedly transform the fashion industry.
It’s also a lot of fun to do.
Both have really affordable plans where you can try out a few designs and then you can upgrade if you love it as much as I do.
19. Make AI Music
This is an amazing opportunity for music-lovers everywhere.
It opens up the world of music production to a new level. You now have the opportunity to mess around and make your own music with the click of a button.
Many of the AI music generation sites have licenses, where you can use the music in a commercial as well as personal context.
Requirements: I really like the songs I made with Soundraw.
They provide free and paid plans, making AI music accessible to everyone.
20. Cook With AI
I love to cook. When I’m not on my laptop, I’m in the kitchen cooking or eating.
Rather than typing what dish recipe you want on Google, you can come to an AI recipe generator for inspiration.
This project type is very nacent and I think the tech has a long way to go. But, it’s a fun way to try out new foods from around the world without having to purchase any cookbooks.
Remember that AI can’t taste…I think this is slightly problematic. Give it a go to see what you think.
Requirements: Try Dishgen to generate recipes and give you ideas. Alternatively, try good ‘ol ChatGPT like the guys in the video below
Dishgen will let you generate 3 recipes for free and then charge a monthly subscription. Or go totally free with ChatGPT.
21. AI-Based Personality Assessment
This is a great place to self-reflect and gain an understanding of yourself.
If you are willing to be vulnerable and tell yourself the truth, an AI personality assessment can give you insights into your strengths and weaknesses.
Find some brilliant platforms that let you take the test for free.
Why Should You Do An AI Project?
There are a ton of obvious benefits to using AI in education.
If you’re in a situation where you need to explain to someone why you want to do an AI project, use these three reasons:
You may hear murmurings that AI will take all the jobs in the future. THIS IS WRONG.
Similar to all new technologies, AI will create 133 million new jobs by 2030 where people will use a form of AI as a tool to do their work.
Top companies will be paying top dollar for AI experts and AI engineers.
May be worth pursuing a career in AI, eh?
AI development and AI applications problem-solving skills for issues that matter in your studies as well as the real world.
AI classes are a brilliant learn AI technologies fast. If you can’t do the classes doing one of these projects will teach you some AI fundamentals at your own pace.
You’ll get kudos from institutions like Stanford and MIT, which massively value the study of AI.
Unless your grandma is Amish, she uses AI. You use AI, your dad uses it, and even your dog may use it.
If there are tech products in your home with automation, auto-suggestions, and facial recognition, all of these applications use artificial intelligence.
For this reason alone, it’s good practice to understand basic AI concepts and get a grasp of how it work
How AI Projects Can Help in Skill Development?
These AI projects for beginners will immerse anyone in applied AI.
Just by following along the steps, you will significantly develop some new skills, including:
1. Learning AI programming languages: Working on AI projects exposes beginners to programming languages like Python and frameworks like TensorFlow and PyCharm.
2. Exploring algorithms: AI projects provide an opportunity to get into the nitty gritty of machine learning and deep learning algorithms and gain a hands-on understanding of their applications.
3. Logical thinking and following instructions: this is pretty basic, but it takes some people a lifetime. By following along in the tutorials, you not only get a great output (like a pet feeder), but you have also learnt to build something from scratch with instructions.
What Should I Consider Before Starting An AI Project?
Before starting an AI project, there are a few things to think about:
1. Why are you doing it? Clearly define what you want to achieve with your project and set realistic goals.
2. What do you need? I’ve provided great lists of all the materials and software you need to complete each project.
Starting these AI projects as a beginner offers lots of benefits and opportunities. By choosing to do one of the 21 project above, beginners can gain practical experience in AI technologies, improve their problem-solving skills, and enhance their understanding of AI concepts and techniques.
These are just SOME examples, but there are plenty more if you dig around. The AI projects above will give you a taste of how AI can be used in real ways and they can massively improve our lives. Plus, they look great on a resume or college application.
So go on, what are you waiting for?
Let me know which one you choose to do!