I spent a weekend with Amazon’s free AI course, and recommend you do the same

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Rainbow emanating from the laptop

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This article was almost never written. I spent most of the weekend falling down the rabbit hole. It was a good rabbit hole. It was an interesting rabbit hole. But it was not conducive to writing an article.

Also: I took this free AI course for developers in one weekend and highly recommend it

It happens when I’m given an all-you-can-eat buffet of really cool and really interesting material to learn and watch. Learn to spike. Productivity tanks.

I’m talking about Amazon’s vast array of free AI-related courses. After I wrote my article about free OpenAI and delearning courses last month, Amazon contacted me to say that it also has a library of free AI training.

I was directed to ten resources that offer this. Some, like the Generative AI Foundation Playlist, have multiple learning opportunities. Actually, it is Generative AI Foundation Series That occupied most of my time this weekend.

This deep dive offers seven hours of video, covering everything from prompt engineering, prompt tuning, pre-training a new model, preparing data and how to incorporate human feedback at scale, to how to prepare for building a foundation model. Model and deploy your own base model.

Also: How to Create Your Own Custom Chatbot Using ChatGPT

It was good. I spent most of the time with a small, warm, cozy dog ​​on my lap. No writing done. And that’s why I’m here now, late at night before handing this piece in, scrambling to get it in my editors’ queue before the sun comes up.

Amazon has course offerings for technical and non-technical audiences. For most of these, you’ll need to sign in to Amazon AWS Skill Builder site you can use your AWS account, or even sign in using your consumer Amazon account. I did so.

Let’s have a look.

Free AI course for non-technical students


Screenshot by David Gewurtz/ZDNet

Unlike the delearning stuff I spotlighted earlier that was primarily aimed at programmers, Amazon provides a great overview for managers, decision makers, and AI-curios.

  • Introduction to artificial intelligence: This is a short introductory course that explains what AI is, why it’s important, and how it relates to machine learning and deep learning.
  • Introduction to Machine Learning – Art of the Possible: This is a quick, helpful course that explains the basics of machine learning and how to help evaluate the benefits and risks associated with adopting ML in various business areas. It will take about an hour.
  • Introduction to Generative AI – Art of the Possible: It distinguishes generative AI from machine learning and provides an introduction to generative AI, detailing use cases, risks, and benefits.
  • Generative AI for Executives: It’s a collection of free, short and easy-to-follow videos that help C-suite executives understand how generative AI can help them address business challenges and drive business growth. Each course is only a few minutes long, and if you’re willing to devote less than half an hour of your day, you’ll learn a lot more about all the fuss.

The primary AI resource for developers and other technologists

These resources are perfect for people getting started with AI. You’ll need some quality technology and coding skills to understand what’s going on here, but you can get a lot out of it even if you’re completely new to AI.

  • AWS DeepRacer: This is not a course as much as a hands-on learning lab It’s free, but only to a point. Once you sign up, you get up to 10 hours and 30 days to use those 10 hours. After that, you need to sign up for a membership That said, you can learn a lot from those 10 hours. DeepRacer lets you go hands-on with machine learning through a cloud-based 3D racing simulator, a fully autonomous 1/18th scale race car powered by reinforcement learning, and a global racing league. It’s Josh.
  • Amazon’s Machine Learning University: It’s a big win for learning. Amazon offers anywhere, anytime access to the same machine learning courses used to train Amazon’s own developers in machine learning. MLU provides a free, comprehensive self-service path to understanding the foundations of machine learning.
  • Amazon CodeWhisperer – Getting Started: This is a free, self-paced digital course that introduces students to Amazon CodeWhisperer, an AI coding companion designed to help developers work faster. Students are taught its capabilities, how to set it up, and how to start using it in their programming language of choice. I didn’t know much about CodeWhisperer before taking this course, but I found (a) it works with PHP and PhpStorm, my development language and IDE, and (b) it’s free for personal use. It has all the signs of a future rabbit hole.
  • Amazon Bedrock — Getting Started: This is a free self-paced digital course that introduces students to Amazon’s services for building generative AI applications. This one-hour course will introduce developers and technical audiences to the benefits, features, use cases, and technical concepts of Amazon Bedrock. Bedrock was once an Amazon-only internal tool that’s now available to anyone, so it’s definitely worth spending hours learning what it can do.

Intermediate AI resources for developers and other technologists


Screenshot by David Gewurtz/ZDNet

Now, we move on by considering the Amazon intermediate-level course. There’s a lot here, so let’s dig in.

  • Twitch Series: AWS Power Hour Introduction to Machine Learning for Developers: This is a recording of a Twitch-based learning chat series. It helps you learn the basics of machine learning and get a practical view of what developers really need to know to get started with machine learning. It also teaches how you can use the power of machine learning and deep learning to make your applications smarter.
  • Generative AI Foundation on AWS: This is the course I described above, which came on my Saturday. This is a free, on-demand technical deep-dive course designed for technologists already familiar with AI modeling. This course includes conceptual fundamentals, practical advice and pre-train, fine-tune, and hands-on guidance for deploying sophisticated foundation models in AWS and beyond.
  • Generative AI with large language models: Now we come full circle. This is a hands-on course jointly developed by AWS DeepLearning.AI and Andrew Ng, a pioneer in machine learning and education. They created the course I highlighted in my last Free AI Learning Roundup. This is a three-week course that prepares data scientists and engineers to specialize in selecting, training, fine-tuning and deploying large language models (LLM) for real-world applications.

Go ahead. Learn something – for free!

While Amazon and other providers offer plenty of paid learning programs, if you do a little digging (or just read my articles), you can find tons of free resources to get you up and running on your game.

Just remember to ask Alexa to set a few alarms or timers before you enroll and start learning. Otherwise, you may lose track of time (in a good way).

Also: How I Made This Cool-Looking Table in Excel

So, what’s up with you? Have you taken this or other Amazon courses? Did you use any of the learning resources I highlighted last month? Let us know in the comments below.

You can follow my daily project updates on social media. Don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly update newsletter on the substackAnd follow me on Twitter @Davidgewirtzon facebook Facebook.com/DavidGewirtzon Instagram Instagram.com/DavidGewirtzand on YouTube YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

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