Six things to look for in an AI course

AI is a general purpose technology. It is infusing across the economy and touching all our lives – whether at work or in our personal lives. Understanding AI is a critical skill for the future so finding the right artificial intelligence course is an important choice.

Right now, if you are a non-technical business leader, we think there are six key questions to ask when you are looking for an AI training course.

Does it explain how AI is fundamentally changing our relationship with technology?

AI will define a new era of computing. The first era was the era of the PC, starting in the 70s. It was the beginning of the desktop world, with computers helping us calculate, write and design.

The second major phase started in the mid 90s with the emergence of the commercial internet. With this, all these machines were connected and could communicate.

Today we are at the beginning of the next major phase. Not only are these machines ubiquitously connected and communicating through the internet, they will soon all be able to think and learn on their own. This is a profound change; an era where every device will be able to make a decision on its own. We are just at the beginning of this change, a change where we are essentially adding a lot more brains to the planet.

An AI course should explain how AI touches you every day and make it easy to understand how AI is changing the way we interact with, and experience, technology.

Does it explain how AI is changing the economics of business ecosystems?

The largest companies in the world are driven by AI.

Apple focuses on delivering experiences and they use AI with a very strong focus on privacy to make that experience as personal as possible. Google’s focus is on delivering information to everyone around the world and they use their AI to analyze the vast richness of internet data to be able to provide the actual data that each individual wants. Microsoft’s focus is helping people be more productive at home and at work and they’re applying AI across a host or products to help you anticipate what you need before you know you need it. Amazon’s focus is selling and delivering things to you and they use AI throughout their business—from recommending products to solving for the most effective logistics to get that product to you. Facebook’s focus is on making connections—to people and information—and they use their AI in ways to keep you connected and addicted so that you stay on your platform as long as possible.

These platforms aren’t limiting their AI efforts to just their core markets. Each company has expanded dramatically over the past few years into seemingly any market that interests them. And their AI strengths are one of the key reasons they are winning at almost anything they try.

An AI course should explain the significance of this shift, show the impact it is having on broad economic and societal change and educate people on the major players who control AI resources and how AI fundamentally changes competitive ecosystems.

Does it provide tools that enable non-technical people to drive AI strategy and design?

AI is highly complex and deeply technical in ways that traditional technology isn’t. AI learns from data, experience and human guidance. AI makes predictions, may take actions and may act autonomously. AI is beyond human intuition and human response time. AI makes mistakes. People’s reactions to AI are not always predictable or desirable. People’s control over AI depends on tradeoffs that designers make, sometimes at a deep technical level.

For non-technical people to lead AI strategy, they need ideas, tools and process to inspire and lead new ways of thinking about revenue generation, cost reduction and efficiency in the age of AI.

For non-technical people to be part of AI design, they need to understand enough about the technology, at the right level, to know how and where they can, and should, make important decisions in AI design.

An AI course should explain the technology in ways that make it intuitive to non-technical people. An AI course should offer tools and methods that empower non-technical people to lead AI – from strategy to design and operations.

Does it go into depth on what humans want from AI and how to design great AI?

The future of work. The future of consumer choice. The future of democracy. The future of society. The future of countries. AI is a new kind of intelligence. So it’s vital to understand how it’s different at a small scale such as a project or a product, right through to understanding how it’s different across large scale domains, such as entire societies.

An AI course should educate people on how to understand AI at any scale because the themes, opportunity and concerns are often similar. An AI course should teach how machines and humans collaborate, what AI is good at and what humans want AI to do. An AI course should teach how AI goes wrong and how it may be regulated.

Does it cover how AI is adopted in the real-world?

AI is a huge investment, it’s complex and expensive and hard to deploy. An AI project requires more diverse involvement, more creativity and more risk than most technology projects. The stakes are invariably higher. For a strategist or leader in an organization, it’s vital to understand how AI projects succeed or fail.

People are worried about AI. Bias, ethics, equality, accountability, privacy, employment and competition are all critical issues that interact and influence each other. Employees, stakeholders and customers may resist AI, sabotage efforts and slow down adoption. Not all of this is bad. There are instances of AI being adopted too fast with too little consideration for the consequences.

An AI course needs to offer tools and practical advice on how to adopt and govern AI – who to include, how to buy or what to build, what to automate, what to measure, how to manage the creative process, how to deal with bias and how to set strategy, targets and expectations with employees and investors.

Does the course constantly update and report on the latest developments in AI?

AI is changing rapidly. An AI course that doesn’t include on-going learning isn’t enough.

As an AI leader, you will need access to the leading edge of AI across governance, technology, deployment and design. Look for an AI course that offers continuous and ongoing learning.

Where should you find a great AI course online?

Right here! Check out our AI Masterclass to learn everything you need to know to accelerate your career in the age of AI. Enough about the technology to lead an AI business plus how to design AI for humans, how to manage AI and humans together, how to govern AI systems and handle issues like bias, ethics and privacy. Check it out!

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