Back in August, I was interviewed during a morning WDBO broadcast and the topic was how can teachers better prepare themselves using technology.
I mentioned a website by IBM and MindSpark for educators who want to dip their toes into the world of AI. This website offers free beginner courses on AI, starting with a course designed for educators called Creating a Spark for Artificial Intelligence. It’s a very cool place for educators who are clueless or curious about AI – to learn what it all means and where it’s going. That website is www.mindspark.org/ibm-ai.
If you are not an educator then there are other free courses online that you can take. All of these courses start with the very basics of artificial intelligence and the great thing is you can take them at your own pace and unlock that knowledge about a subject that, up until now, maybe you are just curious about.
IBM also offers another free AI beginners course online called AI Foundations for Everyone. Anyone can sign up to take these free online courses concerning Artificial Intelligence. That website is coursera.org/specializations/ai-foundations-for-everyone. You can click on the “Enroll for Free” button and get started right away or later if you like. Be sure to click on the tiny link “Audit the Course” to avoid the $49 monthly fee. Not sure how long this will be free like this so if this site interests you, maybe sign up for free while you still can.
You can audit the course for free, which will give you access to all of the materials and some of the assignments, but you won’t be graded or get a certificate at the end.
It’s geared toward beginners and you don’t need prior experience to enroll, and the schedule is flexible so you can learn at your own pace. Along with AI fundamentals, the course will also ensure you’re familiar with IBM’s own AI services, which help businesses integrate artificial intelligence into their existing infrastructure.
IBM says that, by the end of the course, participants will have had “hands-on interactions with several AI environments and applications”.
The course has three modules: “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence”, “Getting Started with AI using IBM Watson”, and “Building AI-Powered Chatbots Without Programming”. Each module takes between nine and eleven hours to complete.
One of the more popular AI training sites is offered by Google and it is called Google’s Generative AI Learning Path. The website is cloudskillsboost.google/journeys/118.
What is Generative AI? It’s what’s been in the news a lot lately, like Chat GPT.
The primary difference between Generative AI and Traditional AI is that Traditional AI aims to perform specific tasks based on predefined rules and patterns,
Generative AI goes beyond this limitation and strives to create entirely new data that resembles human-created content.
This is an introductory-level microlearning course aimed at explaining what Generative AI is, how it is used, and how it differs from traditional machine-learning methods. It also covers Google Tools to help you develop your own Gen AI apps.
One of the more generous courses available in terms of actual hours of learning, Google’s Generative AI Learning path has 10 courses on it. All courses take one day to complete.
Seven of the courses are classified as introductory, including “Introduction to Generative AI”, “Introduction to Large Language Models” and “Generative AI Fundamentals”. There are three courses within the learning path described as intermediate, including “Encoder-Decoder Architecture” and “Attention Mechanism: Overview”.
The first two introductory courses cover a lot of immediately applicable content, such as how to use prompt tuning to get the best out of large language models. There’s also a course on the responsible usage of AI.
Although there’s no official qualification, you will be awarded a completion badge that you can attach to your digital resume.
Not to be outdone, Microsoft has a free A! beginners course for businesses entitled “Transform your business with Microsoft AI” Microsoft says that in this course, business leaders will find the knowledge and resources to adopt AI in their organizations. It explores planning, strategizing, and scaling AI projects in a responsible way.
Microsoft says the objectives for this course are to become familiar with existing AI tools, understand basic AI terminology and practices, and use prebuilt AI to build intelligent applications.
To enroll in this course, which is 2 hours and 40 minutes long, Microsoft says you’ll need a “basic understanding” of IT and business concepts. Modules included in the pathway are:
Leverage AI tools and resources for your business (55 mins)
Create business value from AI (21 min)
Embrace responsible AI principles and practices (48 mins)
Scale AI in your organization (36 mins)
Basic understanding of IT concepts.
Basic understanding of business concepts.
Not to be outdone, Linked In also has a free AI course.
LinkedIn’s AI Career Essentials Course is made up of five different videos, with a total run time of around four hours. Each video is hosted by a different AI expert, covering a range of core concepts and ethical considerations relating to AI models.
One of the videos provides a detailed explanation of how to streamline your work with Microsoft Bing Chat, while another discusses the key differences between search engines and reasoning engines. Although there’s no accreditation or certification, completing this course will earn you a badge of completion from LinkedIn, which can be displayed on your profile.
The fifth video in the series, entitled “An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” is an hour and a half long and provides a simplified overview of the best AI tools for businesses, which is handy for those who haven’t taken the plunge yet and implemented a tool in work.
Go to your LinkedIn account and search for AI Career Essentials