Microsoft is the latest company to offer courses in artificial intelligence (A.I.).
Microsoft’s Professional Program for Artificial Intelligence includes 10 online courses that teach 10 skills. Each course takes roughly 8-16 hours to complete and kicks off at the beginning of each quarter. The courses, which can be taken in any order, range from “Introduction to AI” to “Essential Mathematics for Artificial Intelligence.” The artificial-intelligence program joins a number of other Microsoft professional tracks, including software development, IT support, DevOps, and more.
Of course, there’s a potential cost involved: participants must purchase Verified Certificates from edX.org as “proof of successful completion,” according to Microsoft. Those costs vary by course. But if you’re not interested in that proof of completion, and just want the knowledge, you can audit courses for free.
Microsoft isn’t your only option for learning key A.I. concepts, however. Google offers a three-hour course on deep learning and machine-learning tools via its Google Cloud Platform Website, and Facebook hosts a series of videos that break down fundamental A.I. concepts such as algorithms. Then there are online courses such as Courseraand Udacity, whichoffersinstruction in A.I., and the opportunity to self-teach via materials on GitHub.
These companies are offering courses, of course, in order to potentially align more tech pros with their burgeoning A.I. stacks (in Microsoft’s case, Azure is heavily emphasized throughout the coursework). With A.I. becoming more of a consumer product thanks to everything from voice-activated digital assistants to self-driving cars, it’s clear that the company that can draw the most loyalty from A.I. professionals is the one that stands to profit enormously in coming years. And for tech pros, there are more avenues than ever for earning some cash off your A.I. skills—even if you’re not interested in pursuing an insanely lucrative career as an A.I. researcher.