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Free courses offer students primers in AI and machine learning


The pace of change in the technology space can make it difficult for students to know whether they have chosen the right path. Luckily, for those interested in artificial intelligence and machine learning, there are a variety of courses now available online from established educational institutions and leading tech firms, so young people can make a more informed decision on their future areas of study.

Machine Learning Crash Course by Google

Google’s Machine Learning Crash Course is a recent addition to the search giant’s education platform and provides “exercises, interactive visualizations, and instructional videos that anyone can use to learn and practice [Machine Learning] concepts”.

More than 18,000 Googlers enrolled have so far enrolled in the course, and the firm has now decided to open up the content to everyone across the globe to help people understand exactly what is involved in the subject and hopefully to dispel some of the myths that have grown up around this nascent industry.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Course by MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is widely considered one of the best schools for science and technology in the world, and they have long been proponents of making their courses more widely available for free online, so it is no surprise that their course on AI is one of the leading options in the space.

It features 30 lectures and “introduces students to the basic knowledge representation, problem solving, and learning methods of artificial intelligence” via series of interactive demonstrations and problems solving tasks. The aim of the course is to help students “gain intuition about how artificial intelligence methods work under a variety of circumstances” and should offer students a great understanding of the basics of the field from leading mind Prof. Patrick Henry Winston.

The AI Podcast

Not so much a course, but still a great way to learn about the field of AI, the imaginatively named AI Podcast offers weekly insights into the world of artificial intelligence through discussions with leading developers, project managers, and CEOs involved in the area.

Each episode is only around 20 minutes long, so they are great for bite-sized listening on trains or buses, and you can know that you are always up-to-date with how the technology is evolving form those who are directly working on the problem – whether that is Netflix engineers looking to learn what to recommend you watch now you’ve finished Santa Clarita Diet, or Nvidia’s developers explaining the future of graphics processing and how AI will make use of it.

If you have an interest in AI, machine learning, or any of the adjacent technologies, now is the time to get stuck in and work out the right educational path to achieve your goals. As technologist Blake Rubin says: “There is no doubt machine learning and artificial intelligence have advanced far beyond what was created for old science fiction movies. The technology is here and advancements are being made on a consistent basis. The possibilities for the future appear nearly endless. As time unfolds the possibilities will continue to be revealed.”

Photograph by Pixel2013

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