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The Best 10 free AI training courses by Microsoft and LinkedIn



Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming industries and changing the way we work and live. As AI becomes more prevalent, there is a growing need for people with AI skills and knowledge. Luckily, there are many free resources available to help you get started with AI education. 

Microsoft and LinkedIn, two of the world’s leading technology companies, offer free online courses and learning paths on AI through Microsoft Learn and LinkedIn Learning. These platforms provide beginner-friendly courses to help you gain AI literacy and develop in-demand skills like machine learning and data science.

This article covers the top 10 free AI courses from Microsoft and LinkedIn that you can take to get an introduction to artificial intelligence. The courses are suitable for beginners with no background in AI and programming. 

The Microsoft AI Classroom series provides a structured introduction to AI concepts through short video-based courses. The courses teach the fundamentals of AI through real-world examples and demos. Created by Microsoft AI product teams, the series offers a practical approach to learning AI. 

Some of the courses covered include AI Business School, AI for Accessibility, AI for Health, Responsible AI and Machine Teaching. Each course features video lessons ranging from 3-5 minutes by AI experts at Microsoft. 

The AI Business School course is a good starter course that discusses how AI can help transform customer engagement, product innovation, optimize marketing and sales. The Responsible AI course covers important topics like fairness, reliability, privacy, inclusiveness, transparency and accountability in AI systems.

This series is available for free on Microsoft Learn without requiring registration. With short formatted lessons, it is easy to fit these courses within your schedule.

AI Fundamentals is a LinkedIn Learning Path that provides foundational knowledge of AI concepts for beginners. The learning path contains the following courses:

– AI Foundations 

– Machine Learning Foundations

– Deep Learning Foundations

– Natural Language Processing Foundations

– Conversational AI Foundations

The first course AI Foundations provides an excellent primer on key AI concepts like machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, computer vision and natural language processing. It explains each concept in an easy-to-understand manner with relevant examples. 

The other courses in the learning path build on the first course to provide basics of popular AI techniques like machine learning, deep learning, NLP and conversational AI. Taught by leading AI experts, these courses are filmed in a studio setting and have polished content. 

The AI Fundamentals learning path has over 15 hours of content and serves as a good starting point for AI beginners. You can take the courses for free with a one-month LinkedIn Learning trial.

Introduction to Machine Learning is another popular LinkedIn Learning course that provides a gentle introduction to the world of machine learning. The course is taught by Bargava Subramanian, Data Scientist at IBM, through a series of short video tutorials. 

The course covers Fundamentals of Machine Learning, Regression Analysis, Classification Analysis, Clustering Analysis, Recommender Systems, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning with Big Data. Each section explains the machine learning technique through real-life examples and use cases. 

Some of the top concepts covered include linear regression, logistic regression, decision trees, neural networks, k-means clustering, bag of words model, NLP applications and more. The instructor also demonstrates implementing machine learning models using Python. 

With just 1.5 hours of content, this course offers a quick yet comprehensive overview of machine learning for beginners. Take this course to gain the knowledge and confidence to move ahead in your machine-learning journey.

Deep learning is a popular branch of machine learning that is behind many of today’s advanced AI applications. This course by LinkedIn Learning offers a solid foundation on deep learning and neural networks through easily understandable video lessons.

Instructor Frank Kane, founder of the AI Academy, walks you through the key concepts of neural networks, gradient descent, convolutional neural networks (CNNs), recurrent neural networks (RNNs), long short-term memory networks (LSTMs) and more. 

The course outlines real-world applications of deep learning like image classification, machine translation, speech recognition and self-driving cars. Simple analogies and visual explanations make the advanced concepts of deep learning accessible to beginners.

At just under 3 hours, Introduction to Deep Learning is a compact course to learn the mechanics behind deep learning models powering modern AI. Take this course to gain a fundamental understanding of deep learning and neural networks.

Designing and Implementing Microsoft AI Solutions is a beginner-level course offered by Microsoft through Microsoft Learn. The course provides an overview of steps involved in planning and implementing AI solutions built on Microsoft technologies.

Some of the key topics covered include identifying AI opportunities and scenarios, Azure AI services like computer vision and natural language processing, best practices for responsible AI, and governance considerations for maintaining AI systems. 

The course features interactive coding tutorials in Python to show how Azure Cognitive Services work. You will learn how to use the Computer Vision service, Text Analytics API, Anomaly Detector and QnA Maker in practice.

Being a course designed by Microsoft, it focuses on applied AI examples using Azure cloud services. But the concepts and learnings can be useful for any AI project. The course is free and takes around 8 hours to complete.

AI Business School is a short video course featured in the Microsoft AI Classroom series that provides an excellent starting point for learning AI applications in business. 

Through animated videos and presentations, the course demonstrates how AI capabilities like computer vision, conversational AI, recommendations, automation and predictive analytics can drive business transformation.

Some real-world examples of AI application in business discussed in the course include:

– Automated call center agents for customer service  

– AI-powered sales forecasting and lead scoring

– Predictive analytics for targeted marketing

– Computer vision for analyzing customer behavior 

– AI chatbots for customer engagement

The course also outlines best practices for deploying AI solutions focused on people, culture, technology, data and ethics.

As a non-technical course, AI Business School is ideal for executives, managers and professionals looking to develop AI leadership skills. The course is available for free on Microsoft Learn.

The AI-900 exam focuses on knowledge of common Azure AI services and cognitive skills needed to implement Microsoft AI solutions. This LinkedIn Learning course helps you prepare for the AI-900 certification through practical lectures and hands-on exercises.

Instructor Frank Kane covers all the exam objectives around analyzing requirements, Azure AI services, responsible AI practices, and knowledge sharing. The key services explored include Computer Vision, Conversational AI, Anomaly detector, Metrics advisor, and responsible AI tools. 

The course includes demo implementations of Azure services to analyze images, process text, moderate content, detect anomalies, and extract insights from data. There are coding walkthroughs in Python to illustrate the services in action. 

With 4.5 hours of comprehensive content, this course helps you gain the knowledge and skills measured in the AI-900 exam. It is an excellent exam prep resource for anyone looking to get certified in Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals.

Getting Started with Artificial Intelligence on Azure provides an overview of Microsoft’s enterprise-grade AI services on Azure cloud platform. Created by Microsoft experts, this learning path equips beginners with knowledge to start implementing AI solutions on Azure.

The learning path contains the following modules with hands-on exercises and tutorials:

Amazon Most Wished For

– Intro to Azure Machine Learning 

– Automated Machine Learning in Azure Machine Learning

– Natural Language Processing using Azure Cognitive Services 

– Computer Vision using Azure Cognitive Services

– Conversational AI using Azure Bot Service

The interactive browser-based labs give you access to preconfigured environments on Azure to build models using automated ML, NLP, computer vision and other techniques. The course also covers responsible AI considerations.

With 10 hours of content, this learning path provides fundamental training to start working with Azure AI services. The ability to practice with real examples makes the concepts stick. It’s a great introductory course for applied Azure AI skills.

This course offers a hands-on approach to learning the fundamentals of deep learning using the popular PyTorch library. Instructor Aditya Sharma takes you through training neural networks for computer vision applications without requiring any prior deep learning experience.

The course provides a practical grounding on concepts like convolutional neural networks, pre-trained networks, transform learning, object detection models like YOLO and CNN architectures. The instructor demonstrates how to load datasets, preprocess images, train neural network models and optimize them for accuracy and performance. 

Programming exercises are provided throughout the course to apply your learnings in a coding environment. Demonstrations and visualizations make the complex internals of deep learning models comprehensible for beginners.

At 4 hours in length, this course delivers an engaging introduction to deep learning using PyTorch. Take this course to gain applied skills in developing image classification and object detection models.  

Natural language processing (NLP) allows computers to understand, interpret and manipulate human language. This LinkedIn Learning course offers an easy introduction to NLP concepts for beginners.  

Instructor Ritwik Dutt explains the basics of NLP and shows how to implement different techniques using Python and Jupyter notebooks. The course covers text processing, regular expressions, topic modeling, document similarity, parts-of-speech tagging, named entity recognition, sentiment analysis and more.

You will learn how to process text data, extract insights, create chatbots and build other NLP applications after taking this course. The instructor provides ample examples and visualizations to explain the theory behind NLP algorithms. Code exercises are included for you to apply your new skills.

This 4-hour beginner-friendly course teaches applied skills in NLP without assuming any background in linguistics or advanced math. It provides strong foundational knowledge to start building NLP projects using Python.

This article covered the top 10 free AI courses from Microsoft and LinkedIn spanning AI fundamentals, machine learning, deep learning, NLP, AI business applications and Azure AI services. 

These courses offer flexible online learning options for you to develop in-demand AI skills and knowledge at no cost. The practically focused lessons teach beginner-friendly applied skills in AI that you can use in real-world scenarios. 

Whether you want to gain core AI literacy, implement AI solutions on Azure, pick up in-demand techniques like deep learning and NLP, or develop business AI skills, these free courses have got you covered. You can find all relevant links to the courses within the article body.

Happy learning!

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//Last UPDATE ON 18/09
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