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article imageGoogle launches free online course to improve AI education

By James Walker     Mar 1, 2018 in Technology
Google's announced a new online learning initiative to make machine learning education more accessible. The company's developed a free course which delivers the essentials needed to get started with machine learning, without demanding prior knowledge.
Announced by Google in a blog post this week, the company's new Machine Learning Crash Course (MLCC) is based on an internal course used to train Google staff. After realising the content could be useful to developers, engineers and students outside of its walls, the company has decided to release the course for free on a new educational site.
The course includes exercises, interactive visualisations and tutorial videos that go over the fundamental concepts associated with machine learning. In approximately 15 hours, participants will complete over 40 exercises and develop a working understanding of the ideas behind machine learning. No prior technical knowledge is necessary, although basic experience with maths and some familiarity with programming languages is advisable.
Google's hosting the course on its new Learn with Google AI website. The site provides a selection of other tools to help newcomers gain experience with artificial intelligence and machine learning. It includes coverage of the basics alongside examples which apply the tutorials to real-world scenarios.
Learn with Google AI is aimed at a broad spectrum of users interested in machine learning, from people who are just getting started to experienced developers acquiring new skills. Google said it's meant to illustrate the role of ML in solving problems while giving learners a starting point to develop their own applications.
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"To help everyone understand how AI can solve challenging problems, we’ve created a resource called Learn with Google AI. This site provides ways to learn about core ML concepts, develop and hone your ML skills, and apply ML to real-world problems," said Google. "From deep learning experts looking for advanced tutorials and materials on TensorFlow, to 'curious cats' who want to take their first steps with AI, anyone looking for educational content from ML experts at Google can find it here."
The initiative follows several other recent AI and ML announcements from Google. The company has committed to making machine learning more accessible to businesses, developers and students. Along with other technology companies, it's trying to increase familiarity with AI amid a general skills shortage in the industry.
Projects such as Learn with Google AI and the Machine Learning Crash Course could be the key to finding new talent capable of working on AI projects. The course has already been extensively tested inside Google, with over 18,000 employees from various teams using it as a starting point for adding AI to their apps. ML capabilities in YouTube, Google Earth and Daydream have been developed by engineers who were introduced to the technology by the course.
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