The Alexa team is excited to be collaborating with Udacity on a new Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program. Udacity is a leading provider of cutting-edge online learning, with a focus on in-demand skills in innovative fields such as Machine Learning, Self-Driving Cars, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence.
“The Alexa team is dedicated to accelerating the field of conversational artificial intelligence. Udacity’s new nanodegree for AI engineers is aligned with our vision to advance the industry. We’re excited for students to learn about our work at Amazon and to build new skills for Alexa as part of the course.”
– Rohit Prasad, VP & Head Scientist, Alexa
Learn more about the Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program in this guest post by Christopher Watkins, Senior Writer at Udacity.
Few topics today are as compelling as artificial intelligence. From ethicists to artists, physicians to statisticians, roboticists to linguists, everyone is talking about it, and there is virtually no field that stands apart from its influence. That said, there is still so much we don’t know about the future of artificial intelligence. But, that is honestly part of the excitement!
What we DO know is that world-class, affordable AI education is still very hard to come by, which means unless something changes, and unless new learning opportunities emerge, the field will suffer for a lack of diverse, global talent.
Fortunately, something IS changing. We are so excited to announce the newest offering from Udacity, the Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program!
“This is truly a global effort, with global potential. We believe AI will serve everyone best if it’s built by a diverse range of people.” —Sebastian Thrun (Founder, Udacity)
With the launch of this program, virtually anyone on the planet with an Internet connection (and the relevant background and skills) will be able to study to become an AI engineer. If AI is the future of computer science—and it is—then our goal is to ensure that everyone who wishes to be a part of this future can do so. We want to see every aspiring AI engineer find a job and advance their career in this extraordinary field.
Apply to the Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program today!
Collaborating With Industry Leaders
To help achieve these goals, we are collaborating with an amazing roster of industry-leading companies, including Amazon Alexa, IBM Watson, and Didi Chuxing. In order to provide our students with the highest quality, most cutting-edge curriculum possible, we are building the Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program in close partnership with IBM Watson. To support the career goals of our students, we have also established hiring partnerships with both IBM Watson and Didi Chuxing.
Amazon Alexa is the voice service that powers Amazon Echo and enables people to interact with the world around them in a more intuitive way using only their voice. Through a series of free, self-service, public APIs, developers, companies, and hobbyists can integrate Alexa into their products and services, and build new skills for Alexa, creating a seamless way for people to interact with technology on a daily basis.
IBM Watson IBM Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world the way humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. The Watson platform is open to the world, allowing a growing community of developers, students, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to easily tap into the most advanced and diverse cognitive computing platform available today.
Didi Chuxing, the world’s largest mobile transportation platform, has established the Didi Research Institute, focusing on research topics including machine learning, computer vision, artificial intelligence, data-mining, optimization theory, distributed computing, and more.
Artificial Intelligence and The Future of Jobs
AI is sometimes miscast as a threat to jobs in the future. We strongly disagree with this, but we do know that while jobs are not going away, the future of work IS going to change. Many jobs that exist today will disappear within the decade. However, these jobs will be replaced with new jobs in new fields, and these roles will require employees with new skills.
“I believe machines don’t replace people. They give people superpowers.” —Sebastian Thrun
When The World Economic Forum released its report on The Future of Jobs, AI was singled out as ultimately producing net job growth. Other notable projections include:
- Research firm Markets and Markets estimates the AI market will grow to more than $5 billion by 2020 given rising adoption of machine learning and natural language processing technologies in multiple industries such as healthcare, finance, education, retail, media, advertising, and education.
- 6 billion devices will actively request AI support by 2018. (Gartner)
AI will change things, there is no question, and the engineers of the future will be charged with the responsibility of ensuring it changes things for the better. This is why the field holds so much promise, and produces so much excitement.
“We believe AI has the potential not only to free us from the negative, but to enhance what’s most positive about us as human beings.” —Sebastian Thrun
With innovative curriculum covering topics such as game playing/search, logic and planning, probabilistic inference, computer vision, cognitive systems, and natural language processing, Nanodegree program graduates will be uniquely prepared for a wide variety of roles in the AI field. Our focus is on exposing students to the latest tools and techniques being used in the industry to operationalize artificial intelligence, while also teaching cloud-based, large-scale data processing skills, and fostering a product-oriented mindset that will enable our students to discover new and novel applications of AI.
The program is structured in two terms, and students must take both terms to complete the Nanodegree program. Each term is $800, and must be paid in advance of the term. Each term is 3 months long, and we estimate an average of 15 hours/week required to successfully keep pace. The total estimated completion time is approximately six months. Enrollment eligibility will be determined through an application process that is open as of today, and which will close at 11:59 pm PST on Monday, November 14.
The application may be challenging for some, but we’re addressing this by providing clear prerequisites and a supportive process that involves recommendations for courses students can take—many of which are free—that will help prepare them for the program.
The Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree Program
With collaborators like Amazon Alexa and IBM Watson , hiring partners like IBM Watson and Didi Chuxing, and amazing students like you, we are confident that every graduate of this program will be uniquely prepared to work in AI at emerging and leading companies across multiple industries including healthcare, finance, retail, media, advertising, education and more.
“Sophisticated AI-powered tools will empower us to better learn from the experiences of others, and to pass more of our learnings on to our children.” —Sebastian Thrun
Global developments in the field of artificial intelligence are going to define our future for years and years to come, and graduates of this program will be uniquely poised to contribute to these developments in innovative and awe-inspiring ways. Are you ready to enter this incredible field, and take your place among the next generation of super-powered AI experts?
Apply today for the Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program.