Four-Project Series

Four AI Algorithm Projects with Python you own this product

basic Python • basic mathematics
skills learned
Classification algorithms • K-nearest neighbors • K-means • Naïve Bayes • Hierarchical clustering • Swarm simulation • Particle swarm optimization (PSO) • Expert systems • Feed forward networks • Backpropagation • Network topology
Rod Stephens
4 weeks · 4-6 hours per week average · INTERMEDIATE

pro $24.99 per month

  • access to all Manning books, MEAPs, liveVideos, liveProjects, and audiobooks!
  • choose one free eBook per month to keep
  • exclusive 50% discount on all purchases

lite $19.99 per month

  • access to all Manning books, including MEAPs!


5, 10 or 20 seats+ for your team - learn more

In this series of liveProjects, you’ll learn how some of the most common AI algorithms work under the hood by using them to solve fun and engaging problems. You don’t need expert Python skills or lots of math knowledge to get started. Dive right in by creating a classification algorithm model that can turn scribbles into phone numbers, then explore particle swarm optimization and the Boids algorithm to model flocks of birds. Next, you’ll delve into Expert Systems—a classic approach to artificial intelligence—and use them to create an AI to help identify what kind of animal a zoo attendee is looking at. Finally, you’ll build a working neural network to help a bank demystify their customer’s handwritten deposit slips.

These projects are designed for learning purposes and are not complete, production-ready applications or solutions.

I found this liveProject to be very good. The author provides good information and quality resources along with some interesting and fun projects…It has a lot of good information that is relevant and it is presented very well.

Gary Pass, experienced Python user

here's what's included

Project 1 Simple Classification

This liveProject puts you on the front lines at an indie bookstore, where poorly scrawled notes threaten to bring sales to a standstill. Learning classification algorithms from the ground up, you'll use four different and surprisingly simple classifiers to develop an AI solution that turns illegible scribbles into recognizable numbers.

Project 2 Swarms

In this liveProject, you'll implement particle swarm optimization and the Boids algorithm to develop computational models to track flocks of finches. You’ll start with a simple flock simulator, then modify it to adapt to obstacles, take a different approach with Gravity Boids, and finally use a swarm-inspired algorithm to find the highest point on a complex mathematical surface. You’ll soon have an algorithm that can predict the movements of everything from flocks of finches to swaying concertgoers!

Project 3 Expert Systems

In this liveProject, you'll take over administering a zoo automatically by crafting three different kinds of expert systems to help customers determine what animal they’re looking at. An expert system captures an expert's know-how by encoding it in a knowledge base. You’ll create a prototype 20-Questions-style game expert system, then expand it with logical rules and Boolean statements to build more powerful and realistic expert systems.

Project 4 Neural Networks

In this liveProject, you’ll build neural nets for a bank that are capable of classifying the numbers written on deposit slips. Customers often write out their important account details by hand, and you need to create a model capable of effectively reading their handwriting. You’ll use a feedforward network trained with backpropagation to identify hand-drawn digits with a high percentage of accuracy. Plus, this project contains an optional bonus milestone! Further your knowledge of neural networks by using the TensorFlow and Keras libraries to create an alternative and more flexible version of your first model. You’ll get hands-on experience with these tools' standard libraries, and with your new model you will be able to easily analyze the network's success rate and experiment with different activation functions.

book resources

When you start each of the projects in this series, you'll get full access to the following book for 90 days.

choose your plan


only $41.67 per month
  • five seats for your team
  • access to all Manning books, MEAPs, liveVideos, liveProjects, and audiobooks!
  • choose another free product every time you renew
  • choose twelve free products per year
  • exclusive 50% discount on all purchases
  • Four AI Algorithm Projects with Python project for free

project author

Rod Stephens

Rod Stephens started out as a mathematician but discovered the fun of algorithms and has been programming ever since. Rod was a Microsoft Visual Basic Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 15 years, has spoken to user groups and conferences, and has taught introductory programming courses. He has written more than 35 books including Essential Algorithms: A Practical Approach to Computer Algorithms Using Python and C# and Beginning Software Engineering, both of which include material related to this series of liveProjects.


If you know the basics of Python, you know everything you need to get started with these liveProjects!

you will learn

These liveProjects will help you master the algorithms that underpin advanced artificial intelligence applications.

  • Use classifiers to identify chunks of data that belong to different sets
  • Use swarms to mimic flocks, herds, and of course swarms
  • Use swarm intelligence to search for optimal solutions
  • Use expert systems to encapsulate a human’s expertise
  • Use neural networks to identify hand-drawn digits and detect other patterns in complex data


You choose the schedule and decide how much time to invest as you build your project.
Project roadmap
Each project is divided into several achievable steps.
Get Help
While within the liveProject platform, get help from other participants and our expert mentors.
Compare with others
For each step, compare your deliverable to the solutions by the author and other participants.
book resources
Get full access to select books for 90 days. Permanent access to excerpts from Manning products are also included, as well as references to other resources.