Microsoft Launches Free Online Classes for AI

From Amazon’s self-service store with no checkouts to Alibaba’s car vending machine, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come a long way.

AI will continue to develop and the demand for AI professionals and developers will grow faster in coming years.

To cater for the needs of a booming AI industry and create a machine-learning experts’ workforce, Microsoft is now offering free courses in AI. While the course itself is free, you’ll need to pay for the certification.

It’s not an AI primer or 101, the course is specifically made for engineers and professionals looking to expand their knowledge and expertise in artificial intelligence.

The Program

Microsoft has already added an AI track to its Professional Program courses that comprise of nine online courses. Each course will approximately take 8-16 hours to complete followed by a final project.

Students will have three months to complete all nine courses. The final project will take around six weeks to complete. All 9 courses and the final project will be offered four times in a year.


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The main focus of the study will be on AI ethics, how to conduct a data study and build different learning models. After the completion of the online course, the students will be issued a digital certificate as well.

You can take the course for free, however, in order to get each course’s credit, enrollees will have to purchase verified certificates from edX.org.

Microsoft’s Statement

Microsoft released a statement about the program saying:

The program provides job-ready skills and real-world experience to engineers and others who are looking to improve their skills in AI and data science through a series of online courses that feature hands-on labs and expert instructors.

Susan Dumais, assistant director of Microsoft Research AI, talking about the importance of AI, said:

AI is increasingly important in how our products and services are designed and delivered and that is true for our customers as well. Fundamentally, we are all interested in developing talent that is able to build, understand and design systems that have AI as a central component.

Students enrolling in the course will use following technologies to master the AI skills;

  • Python
  • Math
  • Ethics
  • Data Analysis
  • Azure Machine Learning
  • Computer Vision
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Speech Recognition

For a detailed insight on what the program has to offer, click on this link.

Let’s hope the AI boom doesn’t result in a Skynet-like doomsday scenario.



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