This is definitely something every tech company agrees on: the world needs more AI engineers. Microsoft is the latest firm to try answer the demand, and this week, the company launched a new course on its tech accreditation scheme (known as the Microsoft Professional Program) which is dedicated to artificial intelligence.
The AI course has 10 modules, each taking between eight and 16 hours to complete online. The module covers a range of sub-disciplines, including computer vision, data analysis, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Interestingly, there is also an ethics course – a topic which Microsoft is paying close attention to as it pivots to focus on AI – as well as a module on machine learning in Azure, the company's cloud platform.
All this is predictable, the new AI courses out there (from big tech companies) tend to double up as an advertisement for their own product. It is what can be expected from services AI engineers will likely end up using. Google's own "Learn with Google AI" hub – which launched in February 2018 – is the same, which focuses on TensorFlow, the company's AI framework, and Google Cloud.
Google's courses seem aimed more at lone developers than professionals. To compare the two, Microsoft's new AI program is more corporate, and it promises that individuals who complete the course and pay for accreditation will come away with "resume-worthy credentials." The Microsoft Professional Program for Data Science is priced at $990, so expect something in that range.
It is definitely good for tech companies to be pushing AI skills like this. Not simply because it provides engineers with a talent gap, but more people involved in the development of artificial intelligence, the better. AI is going to drastically shape our lives in the years to come, so it is preferable for more to learn about it.