must say that AI is a different beast than i am used to. i'm used to new technologies such as .NET, Web Services, etc... stuff that has very little info available. such that i could read every Compact Framework book ever written or be the 1st to self-publish an article on some beta product. AI is not like that at all:
1) its been around (off and on) for something like 45 years! i consider the people that have been working on this before i was even born as cheating.
2) in the .NET world i'm used to having tons of web sites with great content to support me: MSDN, codeproject, gotdotnet, etc. there are a number of AI sites, but alot of them have aged. cannot tell you how many dead links i've visited. serious, if i search for something on google, and then branch off from one of those results ... dead links everywhere.
3) and ALOT can happen in 45 years. if you want to find the latest and greatest, you are going to have to filter out a bunch of stuff that used to be the latest and greatest. this also makes it difficult to find the really basic stuff if you are just getting started.
4) the field is HUGE. there are a ton of specializations each having a ton of techniques. then when you start mixing these together, the possibilities seem endless. i feel somewhat lost trying to figure out which AI technique should be applied to which real-world problem.
5) too much research and not enough development. its easy to find a handful of research papers about an AI topic, but if you try to find code ... good luck. if you want OO code ... [crickets chirping].
6) the papers are just loaded with math. its cool that they want to show off their skills; but if they want developers to actually USE their techniques, instead of just having other researches read about it, then how about some pseudo code and some diagrams. typically they do not provide their code that goes along with the paper.
7) there is no Microsoft. if i want to bitch about .NET ... i have a target. there is no such target in the AI world. AI is everywhere ... and nowhere. about all i can bitch about is my brain not coming with a reference manual. stupid brain :)