Amazon's free training: Internal machine-learning courses are now open to all

New free AWS machine-learning training offers everyone the same curriculum that its employees use.

Amazon has announced new, free courses in machine learning, offering all developers the same curriculum that it uses to train its own software engineers and data scientists.

The company has over 30 online machine-learning courses, including video, labs, and documentation that have been used within Amazon for the past 20 years.

Also: Top cloud providers 2018: How AWS, Microsoft, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Oracle, Alibaba stack up

The courses are split into four main tracks, catering to developers, data scientists, data platform engineers, and business types.

Developers, for example, are offered courses that teach machine-learning building blocks, how to build machine-learning applications, computer vision and natural language processing.

For business leaders, the courses promise to demystify artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning, as well as help them understand the terminology and how to use AWS machine-learning services to build models and add intelligence to applications.

The courses are being offered as part of a new AWS Certification Machine Learning, which uses an exam format to test to and validate a person's knowledge about machine learning, such as which approach is optimal for a given business problem, and which AWS services to use for a machine-learning application.

After students complete the fundamentals, they're taken through real-world examples and labs, offering insights into how, for example, Amazon has tackled predicting gift-wrapping eligibility, optimizing delivery routes, or predicting entertainment award nominations using data from IMDb.

"Coursework helps consolidate best practices, and demonstrates how to get started on a range of AWS machine-learning services, including Amazon SageMaker, AWS DeepLens, Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, and Amazon Comprehend," said Dr Matt Wood, AWS's general manager of artificial intelligence.

SEE: Deep learning: An insider's guide (free PDF)

The machine-learning exam is currently in beta and priced at $150, half the normal cost of $300.

Microsoft earlier this year also launched new artificial-intelligence courses through its Professional Program, which cover Python, math/statistics, ethics, data analysis, Azure Machine Learning, computer vision, natural language processing, and speech recognition.

Students who complete the course gain a Microsoft Professional Program Certificate in Artificial Intelligence.

Microsoft UK also announced new AI courses last month, in part to address the challenge of private-sector firms cherry-picking the best academics from universities.

Previous and related coverage

Why AWS re:Invent is arguably more important than Amazon's Black Friday, Cyber Monday bonanza

Yes, everyone shopped their wallets dry on Amazon during the big holiday sales push. But don't forget that the AWS public cloud side of Amazon is likely to drive valuation and operating income going forward.

AWS makes Arm processors available in the cloud with new Graviton processor

AWS dropped a handful of product announcements ahead of re:Invent 2018, including its own processor for scale-out workloads.

Microsoft to tackle AI skills shortage with two new training programs

The tech giant reveals two new training programs to boost AI-related skills in business and in universities.

Microsoft adds AI course to its certification program

Microsoft is adding a new paid AI course to its list of certification-program offerings, and it's open to the public.

AWS IoT suite now includes SiteWise for industrial data collection

AWS used its pre-re:Invent show to update its Internet of Things portfolio.

AWS Global Accelerator to boost performance across regions

The AWS Global Accelerator is expected to boost performance of global workloads and the AWS Transit Gateway is aimed at simplifying network architecture.

Microsoft's Paige Bailey on implementing CEO Satya Nadella's ML and AI vision

Paige Bailey, senior cloud developer advocate for Microsoft, talks ML and AI, plus key takeways from PyCon.

AWS facial recognition tool for police highlights controversy of AI in certain markets TechRepublic

Amazon's Rekognition is being tailored to law enforcement use cases for real-time identification, prompting backlash from the ACLU.

MIT to push the rise of AI with new college, $1B funding CNET

The Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing will be dedicated to research in computer science, AI, data science and related fields.

Related stories: