There’s a Coursera class to help your clueless boss figure out AI

There’s a Coursera class to help your clueless boss figure out AI

Andrew Ng is best known for his work at Google, where he helped establish the Google Brain program, and as the Chief Scientist at Baidu. But his impact in the field of artificial intelligence is probably most profound through his work at Coursera, an online learning center he co-founded.

Ng teaches several free or affordable Coursera courses on a variety of topics related to machine learning and artificial intelligence. And if you, or someone you’re forced to work with, doesn’t know the difference between ML and AI you should send them to the newest course he’s added: AI For Everyone.

This one, rather than help would-be developers get started building AI models, is for non-technical professionals. It’s a class for those who need to understand the terminology and capabilities of AI, but not how to build and program it.

According to Ng:

This course is intended for everyone, ranging from CEOs, product managers, marketers, salespeople, designers, to financiers. If you are a non-technical business leader, “AI for Everyone” will help you understand how to build a sustainable AI strategy. If you are a machine learning engineer or data scientist, this is the course to ask your manager, VP or CEO to take if you want them to understand what you can (and cannot!) do.

A couple of years ago this might have seemed like a glamour course, or even a waste of time. It’s hard for most of us to imagine sending an email to the CEO that says “Hi Boss, we’re getting fed up with you asking us to “solve the SEC problem with AI or something” so we’d like you take this online class.”

But, maybe you can casually leave this article open when you set up the meeting projector later.

In a recent interview with Venture Beat, as reported by Kyle Wiggers, Ng said:

AI is affecting every industry, and it’s important for people in all of these different roles to understand enough about AI to know how to navigate their businesses.

The bottom line is that in 2018 – and even more so in 2019 – business leaders need to have a clue about AI. This is especially true if your clients are invested in it.

And, if you’re inclined to believe experts like Andrew Ng, there won’t be a single business sector that isn’t changed by artificial intelligence. So, whether you own a boutique flower store in rural Scotland or you’re working your way up from the mail room at Bad Boy Records, you can probably benefit from a basic understanding of how AI works.

Coursera’s classes are $49 a month, and the “AI For Everyone” course should take around 3 weeks to complete. You can sign up starting November 26. The class officially launches in “early 2019.”

If you’re a developer, or looking to gain a more technical understanding of AI, Coursera and Ng also offer courses on machine learning, and a deep learning specialization.

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