Best AI And Machine Learning Courses [2021 UPDATE]
Jan 8, 20215 min read
Co-founder and CEO of Ideamotive. Entrepreneur, mentor and startup advisor.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are now spilling from IT labs to broadly understood business practice, powering personalization and real-time communication, e.g. in recruitment processes or customer support. Apart from becoming irreplaceable in data mining and analysis, the technology is also leveraged in operational and administrational automation to reduce operational costs, increase efficiency, grow revenue and improve customer experience.
Embracing the latest technology allows business professionals to keep in the forefront of their own industry or niche’s, not to mention it boosts one’s own professional growth. So, how about learning more about AI and machine learning?
To help you sort out through many offers and find the best machine learning course, we’ve prepared a short list of offers. It includes both free and paid programs, the business and developer perspectives, and offers hosted by prestigious and highly ranked universities and top-class experts. Check our picks below!
Elements of AI | University of Helsinki | 100% free
In spring 2018, Reaktor and the University of Helsinki came together with the aim of helping people to be empowered, not threatened, by artificial intelligence. Together, they built the free Elements of AI course to teach the basics of AI to people from a wide range of backgrounds. This free online course is for everyone interested in learning what AI is, what is possible (and not possible) with AI, and how it affects our lives – with no complicated math or programming required. The course combines theory with practical exercises, can be completed at your own pace, and is awarded with a LinkedIn certificate.
Deeplearning.ai | Coursera | Free with paid certificate
Deeplearning.ai is authored by Andrew Ng, founder of Google Brain and ex-chief scientist at Baidu, one of the “faces” of global AI. The portal offers three courses. First, there is AI For Everyone, a non-technical course, to understand AI technology, to spot opportunities to apply AI to problems in your own organization and to help you understand how to build a sustainable AI strategy. The other two, Deep Learning and TensorFlow in Practice are specializations created with those more IT-inclined in mind. The former specialization teaches the foundational principles and the latter shows how to use a popular open-source framework to implement those principles so that you can start building and applying scalable models to real-world problems. All of the video interviews and lectures are available free on the deeplearning.ai YouTube channel, but for assessment, you’ll need to sign up on Coursera. The cost is USD 49 per month.
Stanford University | Free with paid certificate
Machine Learning AI Certification by Stanford University offered by Coursera is by far the most recommended, if not the best machine learning course available online. Stanford University has long established itself as a world leading teaching and research institution, and the author is the famous Andrew Ng. To say the least, the course has had over 2.5 million participants enrolled since its launch in 2011 and complements Ng’s other courses offered at deeplearning.ai (see above). For assessment and certificate sign up to Coursera for USD 79 a month. Stanford University offers yet another free course, Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Technique, which showcases how AI uses math tools to deal with complex problems. The comprehensive lecture series covers: machine-learning concepts, tree search, dynamic programming, heuristics, game playing, Markov decision processes, constraint satisfaction problems, Bayesian networks and logic. For more AI and ML courses at Coursera see here.
Microsoft and Google platforms | Free with paid certificate
It’s not only the academia, however, who share the knowledge of AI and handling machine learning projects. For example, Microsoft explores AI and ML uses in their products, hosted on own website Microsoft Learn, or in a broader approach as a self-paced course Professional Certification in Artificial Intelligence, hosted by Edx. This program is designed to help you gain the skills needed to build deep learning predictive models for AI. After the completion of the first eight mandatory courses, you can choose from four options for the ninth one prior to getting started with the capstone project. The courses are free, but you can apply for a professional certificate at USD 99.
Among highly rated and recommended courses offered by the platform Udemy are Artificial Intelligence A-Z: Learn How To Build An AI (USD 200) and Advanced AI: Deep Reinforcement Learning in Python (USD 180). The former course teaches how to build AI with no previous coding experience using Python (with code templates!), but you need to be somewhat familiar with the language, and have a good head for maths. The authors focus on building up your intuition in coding AI, for infinitely better results and building solutions adaptable to any environment in real life. The latter course goes even deeper, teaching state-of-the-art AI techniques in reinforcement learning. Since the curriculum includes TD lambda, policy gradients or deep q-learning, it understandably requires a strong technical background.
Artificial Intelligence | EdX | Free with paid certificate
EdX is another platform where you can find widely recommended and highly rated artificial intelligence course material. Their free course hosted by Columbia University provides a broad understanding of the basic techniques for building intelligent computer systems and an understanding of how AI is applied to problems. The advanced-level curriculum covers topics on AI applications like robotics and NLP, machine learning, algorithms, data structures, games, and constraint satisfaction problems. A course certificate is paid extra USD 325. The course is a part of an entire specialization, Columbia University’s MicroMasters Program in Artificial Intelligence. It represents 25% of the coursework toward a Master's degree in Computer Science at Columbia and offers rigorous, advanced, professional, graduate-level foundation in AI.
Artificial Intelligence Executive Certification | Northwestern University | USD 2,900
Eight in-depth modules of the Artificial Intelligence Executive Certification course by the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School provide a comprehensive perspective on how AI is being used in practice across organizations, enterprise functions, as well as in a wide array of industries. The modules discuss trends, tools, and applications of AI, its use in customer experience and operations management, business support functions and select industries and areas such as autonomous vehicles and transportation. This artificial intelligence course program highlights the use cases of AI along two dimensions – enterprise value chain and industries. Successful completion of the program is awarded with a digital certificate.
Artificial Intelligence: Implications For Business Strategy | MIT | USD 3,200
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is another university that hardly needs introduction, a technological hub and birthplace of the internet and voice recognition technology. Its Artificial Intelligence: Implications For Business Strategy course offers a sound conceptual understanding of AI technologies through a business lens, enabling to lead informed, strategic decision-making and augmenting business performance by integrating key AI management and leadership insights into business practice. The curriculum includes topics such as machine learning, natural language processing and robotics in business, as well as AI in business and society. The course is recommended for requires 6-8 hours per week to complete weekly milestones, and is awarded with a certificate.
The Oxford AI Programme is a comprehensive, certified artificial intelligence course. It is recommended for management and business leaders across multiple functions and industries looking to understand the possibilities of AI. It’s also applicable for technical working professionals such as CIOs, IT managers, and business analysts looking to better understand how artificial intelligence can be implemented within their organizations. The modules include the history of AI, the mechanics of the three main types of machine learning: supervised, reinforcement, and unsupervised, as well as deep learning and neural networks. The course teaches the concept of working with intelligent machines, and the related ethics. The last module is dedicated to implementing AI in your organization.
The above is hardly a comprehensive list, but definitely gives you something to start with if you’re interested in learning how to leverage AI in business, or how machine learning works. What other courses do you recommend? Let us know!
And if you are looking for a team of AI experts, feel welcome to reach out to us! Estimate your project with no strings attached, or learn more about Ideamotive’s AI projects [link to AI pillar page], and our approach to AI.
Robert is a co-founder and CEO of Ideamotive. Entrepreneur, who with passion spreads digital revolution all around the internet. Mentor and advisor at startup accelerators. Loves to learn and discover new business models.