Online AI Courses – From Microsoft and IBM…

When I joined the OU as an academic, I was recruited to work on the rewrite of an AI course (T396 Artificial Intelligence for Engineering), adding a genetic algorithms block to complement the neural network and rule based systems / fuzzy logic materials that formed the majority of the course.

That course came to an end, was replaced by another that has also since come to an end, and leaves the current OU computing curriculum largely void of AI materials (there are little bits and pieces of related materials scattered through different courses, but nothing substantial).

Discussions are afoot as to whether – and where – we might be able to AI topics back into the curriculum. Quite by chance, I noticed today a reference to the Microsoft AI School which provides education materials for getting started with Microsoft’s AI services on Azure.

IBM also offer online courses in AI and related topics under the brand, again using their own cloud services:

They also offer badges

I’m not sure where this sits in the greater scheme of things when it comes to OU courses, but there are precedents of us having wrapped vendor training courses from IBM and Cisco with additional academic credit…

PS As well as the online services offered by Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Google, etc, I also note what may be fumblings towards a market in pretrained models in the form of

The unwary use of third party models – and the biases they incorporate, is something we may need to start to be a bit more concerned about sooner rather than later (for example, MIT Technology Review: Forget Killer Robots—Bias Is the Real AI Danger).

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

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