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AI Training Course Added to Microsoft Professional Program

Microsoft launched a new program on Monday to potentially train tens of thousands of people in artificial intelligence skills and concepts.

The Microsoft Professional Program for Artificial Intelligence will consist of 10 parts, each of which is supposed to take eight to 16 hours to complete. Attendees can either audit the courses or pay in order to get a certificate of completion.

In a feature-style article to announce the new track, Microsoft framed the program as a massive online open course (MOOC) that grew out of Microsoft's internal AI training initiatives, including one project-based, semester-style program called AI School 611.

"The program provides job-ready skills and real-world experience to engineers and others who are looking to improve their skills in AI and data science through a series of online courses that feature hands-on labs and expert instructors," Microsoft noted in the description of the new Microsoft Worldwide Learning Group program.

The nine courses include an intro to AI, using Python to work with data, using math and statistics techniques, considering ethics for AI, planning and conducting a data study, building machine learning tools, building reinforcement learning models, and developing applied AI solutions. The applied AI section has three options -- natural-language processing, speech-recognition systems, or computer vision and image analysis.

The track ends with a final project called the Microsoft Professional Capstone: Artificial Intelligence. Details of the capstone project are coming soon, according to Microsoft's Web site explaining the program.

Microsoft first unveiled the idea of broad-based courses in 2016 under the name Microsoft Professional Degree, and later renamed the idea as the Microsoft Professional Program.

The first track under the program was Data Science. Microsoft currently also offers Big Data, Front-End Web Development, Cloud Administration, DevOps, IT Support and Entry Level Software Development.

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 02, 2018


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