Microsoft AI educational 10-course program opens to the public

Microsoft has made some of its artificial intelligence courses available to the public, expanding them beyond their initial employee-only availability. Called the Microsoft Professional Program in AI, the courses enable anyone with an interest to learn about artificial intelligence, starting with the basics and working up to crucial skills. The program has a total of 10 courses that cover 10 skills over dozens of hours.

Microsoft announced the new availability today, explaining that its program offers a combination of real-world experience and skills needed for jobs that help engineers and others get the education they need for their career. The company offers a variety of training and educational opportunities, not all of them open to the public.

According to the company, its Professional Program in AI is an expansion of its internal training initiatives, among them being one that is internally known as the AI School 611. That educational initiative is described as semester-style and offered to selected employees to provide them with a combination of mentoring, tools, and training.

The publicly available program takes between 8 and 16 hours per course, so up to 160 hours total to complete. The program covers technologies and skills like computer vision, natural language processing, Python, speech recognition, data analysis, math, ethics, and Azure machine learning. Each course runs for 3 months comprising a quarter; each quarter runs from Jan – March, April – June, July – Sep, and October – Dec.

Specific courses, the introductory one aside, include things like, "Use Python to Work with Data," "Consider Ethics for AI," "Use Math and Statistics Techniques," "Build Deep Learning Models," and more. You'll need to sign in with your Microsoft account, link it to an edX account, then provide your legal name. Each course is available to enroll in after that.

SOURCE: Microsoft Academy, Microsoft Blog