AI Technologies

Top AI Technologies and How to Learn Them for Free

There has been excitement around Artificial Intelligence for quite some time. It is transforming multiple industries giving new opportunities to companies, govt, countries world over.

According to Stanford researcher Andrew Ng, AI is the next electricity and it is transforming the same way as electricity transformed our industries, the way we work, and the way we carry out our lives a hundred years ago. 

Here are a few top AI technologies transforming businesses.

Machine Learning

Humans learn and evolve based on experiences. Machine Learning is a subset of Artificial intelligence. It essentially means developing systems with the ability to learn and evolve based on some experience which is data in the case of machines. It brings together statistics and computer science to help a machine improve at a task.

Virtual personal assistants like Cortana, Siri, and Google Assistant use machine learning to collect and process data based on your previous interactions with them and derive meaning from all that data.

There are also instances where we are unaware of the use of machine learning in the applications that we use every day. For example, tagging photos on Facebook, or video recommendations on YouTube.

Deep Learning Platforms

Deep Learning is an area witnessing a surging interest and is often confused with machine learning. Deep learning can be defined as a subset of machine learning inspired by the workings of the brain and uses artificial neural networks. It features automatic learning at multiple levels of abstraction based on inputs and outputs. The learning comes from observing huge data sets.

Natural Language Processing

Natural language is another application of AI where machines are taught on how to understand how humans communicate with each other and replicate that behavior. NLP is used by Virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant to understand and respond to user queries.

This feature is used extensively in areas like service, support, and transactions which has direct involvement with customers but has immense potential to improve an organization’s internal process.

Natural Language Generation

Natural language generation is an extension of natural language processing. It is used to convert structured data into natural(human) language which can then be leveraged to respond to the user in a conversation. The key idea behind NLG is not only to provide information but information based on the context (here the user query).

Artificial Intelligence is an evolving field with many applications and the ones listed above are just a few. The demand for people with knowledge and skills in the different technologies of Artificial Intelligence exceeds the supply. 

As per a Gartner study, by 2022 at least 40% of new application development projects would need a machine learning co-developer on their team. These projects are expected to generate revenue of around 3.9 trillion dollars. In other words, learning and gaining qualifications in these subjects would open doors to greater opportunities.

Computer Vision

Computer vision is a sub field of artificial intelligence that trains computers to identify objects using an algorithm trained to collect predetermined features. Using images, videos and deep learning models, machines can identify millions of objects faster and faster with greater accuracy.

With an array of freely available resources online, it may be easy to gain the necessary understanding and experience in AI and other related technologies. Many of these resources are created by experts from leading universities and companies specializing in AI and related technologies. Besides, you can learn at your own pace and time, and based on your level of expertise. All it requires is a little bit of effort.

Here are a few free online courses that can help you get started.

Elements of AI

Elements of AI is an initiative by Helsinki University and aims to help people gain an elementary understanding of what AI does, how it might affect them, and what it can be used for.

No in-depth knowledge of mathematics and statistics is required to start seizing the opportunities offered by AI and machine learning.

It is part of a government drive to educate its people of Finland on AI and was first rolled out in Finnish. It was later made available in other languages too. 

Learn with Google AI

In an attempt to take AI to the masses Google, launched free AI lessons – called Learn with Google. It is a continuously growing vast repository of tutorials, guides, resources, and research papers related to AI and machine learning.

With interactive learning materials and video lectures, it covers tutorials with interactive visualizations covering fundamentals to expert level interactive communities. It also offers guidelines on how to leverage AI and Machine Learning to solve social, environmental, and humanitarian challenges as well as advice on how to keep your AI applications both ethical and people centric.

This program also includes the Machine Learning Crash Course which covers basic as well as theoretical and practical applications of TensorFlow, open-source library for machine learning. TensorFlow has an assortment of tools for beginners as well as experts to build machine learning models for desktop, mobile, web, and cloud.

Microsoft Learn

Another important resource for learning AI is Microsoft Learn. It offers interactive, hands-on training for free. Other than AI, Microsoft Learn also offers courses on wide variety of topics including Azure, business applications, Modern Workplace and Windows Development and Deep Learning.

You can choose learning paths to logically connect with your existing knowledge and customize your own learning modules. The learning can be carried on your preferred platform including Windows, Linux, or Mac.

NVDIA Deep Learning Institute

NVDIA is another technology major offering learning resource on AI. They offer tutorials with hand on projects in AI accelerated computing, and accelerated data science. The courses are self-paced and aimed for individuals at all levels including developers, data scientists, researchers, and students.

Kaggle Learn

Kaggle, a subsidiary company of Google is world’s largest online community for data scientists and machine learning enthusiasts. The members include novice learners to many of the world’s best-known researchers.

Kaggle breaks down complex topics into micro courses to hone practical data skills.

Machine Learning – Stanford University (Coursera)

This course by Andrew Ng is often referred to by AI experts as an important one for anyone who wishes to get started with AI. Andrew Ng, the founder of Google’s Brain deep learning program gives a lucid understanding of the mathematical, statistical, and computer science fundamentals that go into developing and deploying automated learning machines. 

You can access all the course materials on Coursera for free but will need to pay a small fee to obtain the certificate.

AI for Everyone – Andrew Ng (Coursera)

This course also by Andrew Ng is for people from the non-technical background who may want to take advantage of AI to solve problems in their organizations or working to integrate them while working with non-technical teams. 

The course is designed in such a way as to give a better understanding of AI and its business aspects. All the course materials are available for free.

Artificial Intelligence A-Z: Learn How to Build an AI – Udemy 

Artificial Intelligence A-Z takes a different approach to learn about AI. It requires only basic high school mathematical skills as well as python. Here practical exercises are given to build AI models to solve real-world problems. Although not completely free the course can be taken at a measly amount. 


Pyimagesearch through its blog offers many courses on computer vision, OpenCV, deep learning, machine learning etc. through a hands-on practical approach starting from the basics. Key concepts explained in a lucid manner helping you gain a clear understanding of the subject.

Their PyImageSearch Gurus is a comprehensive course on computer vision starting with the fundamentals and helping your way up to commanding mastery over the subject. Basic coding knowledge in Python is a pre-requisite.

There also other free resources available on analyticsvidhya and on blogs like pyimagesearch and other countless online communities. Resources are countless and with Artificial Intelligence being a fast-evolving field a healthy sense of curiosity and love of learning is essential to keep learning.

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Written by Prashant Thomas
Fiscally conscious & goal driven professional with over 15 years of strategic IT experience in multiple disciplines. He has completed his Engineering & M.S. in the US and followed it up with very strong IT leadership experience with top companies. He has a rich cross functional experience in translating business needs into technology requirements, defining, developing roadmaps, rolling out IT solutions across the segments of enterprise. He is a certified Scrum Master and a TOGAF Certified Enterprise Architect.