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19 online AI education classes that you can take right now

AI is the way of the future. And you can teach yourself how to master this incredible new technology from some of the top schools around the globe. In some cases, for free.

An image of computer circuitry and electronics in the profile shape of a childs head. A depiction of learning computer intelligence or childrens exposure to technology. (Getty Images)

For some us, AI is kind of an iffy proposition. To many, it is nebulous enough to seem like it might replace us or our jobs. And the harbingers of this sea change aren't exactly affirming: every other week in the news, self-driving smart cars keep crashing, with injuries and sometimes fatalities. AI generally doesn’t seem to be that well-received in mass media, either, like in movies like Minority Report or TV shows like Westworld. Because of all this, the public perception of AI might be on the negative side.

A good way to overcome uneasiness, anxiety or fear is simply be learning more about whatever seems to be the issue or problem. AI is still in its infancy, so there may be many jobs, business and investment opportunities in the near future. In fact, one estimate pegged the number of new AI jobs by 2030 at 2.3 million.

Whatever your interest level is in AI we did some research and compiled this list of resources for you to peruse.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Free options

Short on cash but big on dreams? Here's some free options for you. 

- Elements of AI

 This online course is taught at a very basic level. It’s for anyone who is interested in the subject, but knows very little.

- Google AI education

Leave it to Google to provide free online learning resources to help learn AI. This offering has videos, courses, workshops, documents, a neural network playground, and more. It’s all free and provides a very good way to learn about artificial intelligence. The content is organized by type of individual like student, business person, researcher, curious cat etc.

- Intro to AI - UC-Berkeley

This particular online offering from Berkeley has many learning modules and resources, but not every single one of them them is available to the public. Many are though, so it’s worth a quick look to see if they match your interest.

- Machine learning at Stanford University

Further down the Bay Area peninsula is Stanford, with its own lengendary AI program. The main topics covered are speech recognition and enhancing web search, and linear regression.

- Intro to deep learning at MIT

Ever wanted to go to MIT? Well, now you can for free (kinda). This course is an introduction to deep learning that lasts seven days.

- Intro to Reinforcement Learning at University College, London

This intro course is not taught at a basic level, so you need to be familiar with basic concepts and perhaps a little more. For a school with prestigious alumni that include Gandhi, director Christopher Nolan, and even the dude from Coldplay... who would expect less? 

- AI for Robotics - Udacity

Want to learn to program a robotic car? This course can help you do that. The skill level required for it is advanced, though, and the time to completion is about 2 months.

 SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Certificate programs

The way some free online courses work is that you can often take them without paying anything, but in some cases, you do have to pay if want a certificate of completion.

- Easy AI and Machine Learning - Salesforce ($9.99)

This course is just $9.99 — less than a Chipotle burrito lunch with a drink! — and teaches how to build AI to automate processes and make decisions.

- AI Video Creation ($9.99)

Similarly priced, this course shows you how to use the tools Biteable and Lumen5 to quickly create videos using AI. 

- AI at Columbia University ($199)

The intro to this online course at the prestigious NYC university is free but if you want the whole thing (and to get a certificate) you must pay $199. 

- Machine learning with Andrew Ng

This highly-rated online course does have some free content but if you want a certificate there is a fee. The teacher is also an adjunct professor at Stanford.

- UDEMY: Artificial intelligence A-Z: Learn how to build AI

In this course, you get to build AI and make a virtual self-driving car. It also requires a fee if you want a certificate.

- Stanford graduate certificate

This program from Stanford is for software engineers and costs about $16,000.


AI degrees


Carnegie Mellon is one of the only universities in the world to offer a B.S. in AI. CMU is known for being a top engineering school. Southern New Hampshire University has a BS in IT with a concentration in robotics and AI.


Ready? There's quite a few across the globe. The University of Georgia offers a terminal Master’s degree in AI, meaning it is not part of a PhD program. So does the Barcelona School of Informatics, if you would be comfortable living in Spain. It is designed to be completed in 3 semesters. The University of Edinburgh does too, if you prefer studying in Scotland. If the Netherlands is more appealing the University of Utrecht has a master’s in AI as well.

Many universities also offer PhDs in computer science, including in AI. Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, and UC-Berkeley are some of the top programs, but there are many others at institutions like Harvard, U. of Michigan, and so forth.

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