How (and Where) to Get a Great Crash Course in AI
Artificial intelligence is years, even decades, from replicating functions of the human mind, but it’s still getting serious work done today. And its influence will only expand. The irony of all that promise: Human minds are way behind. Relatively few have a baseline understanding about how AI and deep learning truly work.
Techniques like machine learning, which underpin many of today’s AI tools, aren’t easy to grasp. They feed computers massive volumes of information to “teach” them to recognize our words or halt for a stop sign. This isn’t just dissimilar to how human minds work: it also involves techniques that can’t be understood without an effective teacher.
Best Courses in AI, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning
Luckily, AI’s recent popularity has yielded hundreds of articles, videos, webinars, courses and books catering to beginners and experts who aspire to expand their minds. Below, we’ve curated a selection of the best available.
AI Courses for Beginners
- Artificial Intelligence: A Free Online Course From MIT
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the toughest technical universities, but also routinely produces some of the best minds in the field. This introductory course, made up of 30 video lectures, starts from basic knowledge representation, and includes interactive demonstrations to help students understand how different AI methods work under different circumstances.
- Artificial Intelligence A-Z: Learn How To Build An AI
A course that covers key AI concepts, teaching you to code from scratch and discussing the real-world applications of AI. This course is useful as a comprehensive yet simple approach to learning the basics of creating practical AI.
- Deep Learning for Business
A solid, non-technical approach to the most talked about AI technique (computer vision runs a close second). The focus is on the AI stars of the business world, from IBM’s Jeopardy-winning Watson to LettuceBot, a deep learning system that assists in planting and growing everyone’s favorite leaf vegetable. Some hands-on work using tools like Google’s TensorFlow is included, but the focus remains squarely on what business leaders need to know.
Intermediate Courses to Improve Your AI Knowledge
- Deep Learning by Google
A more advanced, three-month course that teaches students how to train and optimize different types of neural networks, and how to design systems that learn from massive datasets. This course is a good follow-up or alternative for those too advanced for Ng’s deep learning courses.
- Neural Networks and Deep Learning
Andrew Ng, a star both in AI and teaching, runs students through a more technical introduction to the fundamentals of deep learning and neural networks. The course is targeted to people with some technical proficiency, but also demonstrates how deep learning is relevant to business. Later courses in the series follow up with more in-depth material, such as Structuring Machine Learning Projects.
- Salesforce Einstein Discovery – Easy AI and Machine Learning
The Salesforce Einstein AI engine offers an interesting example of AI targeted to a particular business problem: supporting customers. While this course is too focused to serve as a general introduction to the field, it also offers a tradeoff: no coding is required to get some hands-on experience creating an AI-enabled app.
Advanced AI Courses
- Introduction to Computer Vision
Computer vision is a distinct subspecialty within AI, important in everything from driverless cars, to augmented reality, to advanced manufacturing. This four-month course isn’t for beginners, but it does effectively teach the fundamentals and core concepts behind computer vision.
- NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute
Learn how to speed up your AI, deep learning, and accelerated computing applications with more than a dozen project-based hands-on training courses. You’ll work through DLI training online from anywhere, using a fully configured GPU-accelerated workstation in the cloud. All you need is web browser and Internet connection. Examples include Deep Learning for Image Classification, which teaches how to train neural networks to recognize images, and Linear Classification with TensorFlow, which uses Google’s extensive machine learning framework.
- Reinforcement Learning
If the previous courses in deep learning look like child’s play to you, this course is a good step up: it adopts a theoretical approach to machine learning, from classic papers on the topic to more recent work. This course will allow students to understand, engage and contribute to the reinforcement learning research community.