Even though general purpose AI is years away, you can still knowably contribute to speeding up AI development right now — even if you’re not a programmer. That’s because most AI projects rely on the same few centralized resources to bootstrap their language manipulation, generalized domain knowledge about the world, and common sense reasoning. These include:
Each of these systems have some or all of their databases and code available for inspection and improvement. Programmers and semi-technical contributors can help most by submitting patches to DBpedia, but non-coders can still do interesting things like voting on merges in Freebase to improve performance by eliminating duplicate entries or following NELL on twitter and replying with corrections to any incorrect facts it accidentally learns.
If you’re a strong programmer and want an even higher chance that your contributions speed up the development of AI, then improve one of the critical open-source components that these systems rely on:
Or if you like writing and organizing data more than programming, you can contribute by improving one of the top-level sources of curated content that currently feed the content into these centralized AI resources:
Adding to Wiktionary, fixing broken citations on Wikipedia, adding new data to Wikipedia infoboxes, and standardizing poorly formatted infoboxes on Wikipedia are all high value activities that will almost certainly improve eventual automated reasoning systems.