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Learn artificial intelligence with online courses and programs

Artificial intelligence (AI) is used for everything from predicting what you will type to providing care for people experiencing a mental health crisis. Explore how to learn this important tool with online AI courses delivered through edX.

What is artificial intelligence (AI)?

Artificial Intelligence refers to computer systems that can mimic human intelligence. AI is demonstrated when a task, formerly performed by a human and thought of as requiring the ability to learn, reason, and solve problems, can now be done by a machine.Footnote 1 There are many types of artificial intelligence that are used today. For example, when a user logs into a movie streaming service, the recommendations for what to watch next are generated by artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to find content similar to what the user has previously watched. Another example is an autonomous vehicle, which is able to perceive its surroundings and make decisions in order to safely reach its destination without human intervention. 

Converging technologies along with Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are driving the growth of AI and AI technologies. Machines communicate with one another and are now capable of advanced perception, capturing millions of data points in seconds, processing the information and making decisions.

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Why is artificial intelligence important?

There are a lot of reasons why artificial intelligence is important. The goal of AI is to replicate the ability to do tasks that were previously done by humans and program systems to act rationally. Building systems that can collect data, recognize patterns, and use that information to solve problems can empower businesses to make data-driven decisions and automate mundane processes.Footnote 2

AI can also exceed the ability of humans in a number of ways, such as data analysis. For example, the level of personalization achieved by a streaming service could not be achieved without the use of complex algorithms and data analysis performed by AI to create individual user experiences. Individuals who want to learn artificial intelligence may find a variety of career opportunities, as organizations continue to adapt and evolve using machine learning and other types of artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence course curriculum

The field of artificial intelligence encompasses computer science, natural language processing, coding, mathematics, data science, and many other disciplines. An AI tutorial or free artificial intelligence course for beginners can teach learners:

  • The uses of AI for businesses and society

  • Ethics issues related to AI

  • AI programming for intelligent agents such as search algorithms, games, and logic problems

More advanced artificial intelligence courses may focus on topics such as robotics, machine learning, and data modeling and analysis. Individuals who want to learn artificial intelligence may also consider taking related AI courses in computer science and programming languages, such as Python, R, and other programming languages commonly used in data analysis.

Artificial intelligence jobs 

The level of education required for different artificial intelligence jobs can vary based on the role. Some employers may require a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in computer science or a related field, while others may be open to individuals who have completed a boot camp program.Footnote 3

For those interested in working in artificial intelligence, job titles relevant to the field may include:

  • Artificial intelligence engineer

  • AI project manager

  • Computer and information research scientist

  • Computer programmer

Duties will vary depending on the type of role. For example, an artificial intelligence researcher (a type of computer and information research scientist) may be expected to:Footnote 4

  • Explore problems in computing and develop solutions to address them

  • Determine computing needs and system requirements for technologies

  • Use computing languages and other tools

  • Design systems and conduct experiments to test their operation

Become an artificial intelligence engineer online

Individuals who enjoy computer science, mathematics, and data analysis may be a good fit for a variety of artificial intelligence jobs. Education and experience requirements will vary depending on the employer, role requirements, and other factors.

It may be helpful to earn artificial intelligence certifications through online classes. Those who want to earn a traditional degree rather than take one AI course may also consider a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in data science or a related field. Boot camp programs are also an option for individuals who want to learn coding skills in an accelerated environment.

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