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The Top 3 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Online Courses [2021]
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By: Mike Kaput

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June 7th, 2021

The Top 3 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Online Courses [2021]

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McKinsey predicts artificial intelligence will unlock up to $2.6 trillion in business value in marketing and sales.

That's a disruptive level of impact-and its sheer scale means it's going to be felt by marketers in all roles, at every type of organization.

It doesn't matter if you're a student entering the industry, a manager building a marketing team, a practitioner running campaigns, or a provider building marketing solutions, the simple fact is this:

You need to better understand AI, machine learning, and related technologies, regardless of your background or job title.

Good news is, there's a way...

It's still early days in marketing's AI transformation. If you're researching AI and its business applications, you're already ahead of the curve. And you don't need to be a machine learning engineer, data scientist, or a machine learning specialist to get far quickly. In fact, most of the education you need to get started is available online, completely free.

But what is the best machine learning course?

Who should you trust when you look for a machine learning online course?

To save you time, we've compiled our picks for the top free AI and machine learning courses available online.

The Best Way to Learn AI and Machine Learning

Before we get into the courses, a quick note on the best way to learn AI and machine learning.

For marketers, we think the best way to learn is to get started . In all likelihood, you don't need a full multi-year degree in AI, data science, or machine learning to make progress. (Though, if you're interested in a technical career, these degrees may be helpful.)

However, for marketers who don't intend to change careers, online education and experimentation are the top ways to make yourself more valuable at low or no cost.

To start, take one or more of the courses we recommend here. Then, begin exploring AI use cases and tools for practical business challenges you face at your organization. Often, you can start identifying use cases for AI in your company and vetting tools through free trials while consuming course content.

See this post I wrote on to do just that: Step-by-Step: How to Get Started with Marketing AI.

Now, on to the top courses to learn artificial intelligence online...

Google's Artificial Intelligence Course

Google is one of the top players in AI and machine learning, and they offer their machine learning courses for free. It's the same training they require all of their engineers to take.

Why give away their secrets in a free machine learning course?

According to their developer's blog:

"We believe that the potential of machine learning is so vast that every technical person should learn machine learning fundamentals."

The awesome thing about Google's machine learning concepts crash course is that it's really not that technical.

Sure, you'll want to understand basic math concepts, but expertise in computer science isn't required. Despite that, you'll learn what you need to know about core topics like:

  • What a machine learning model is.
  • Which machine learning algorithm is which, and which ML model to use.
  • Differences between supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and types of machine learning training.
  • Different types of ML algorithms.

The best advice we can offer is to not get too caught up in the tiny details. Focus on the broad picture and the basic concepts.

Even if your goal is just to understand AI (rather than build it), this course will be beneficial.

While you won't get a formal machine learning certification from the course, we do highly recommend the course for any marketer.

Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Course

Andrew Ng is the former chief scientist at Baidu, adjunct professor at Stanford, co-founder of Coursera, and one of the biggest names in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

He's also the teacher of one of a machine learning certification course on Coursera, offered through Stanford University.

This Coursera machine learning course is titled simply "Machine Learning" and it's 100% free to take. You'll only need to pay if you want a shareable machine learning certification from Coursera upon completion (though this may be appealing to potential employers).

The course material is a little more intensive than Google's machine learning course with 11 weeks of learning comprised of 5-8 readings and videos each week.

This Coursera course does a great job at explaining the strategy behind AI as well as offering a greater understanding of how AI and machine learning applications work.

Udacity's Artificial Intelligence Course

In a TED talk from a few years back, AI experts Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun talked about their success teaching an online AI course with over 100,000 students.

They've loaded up that same artificial intelligence course, where marketers can learn the basics of artificial intelligence and its growing applications in business.

It has an estimated timeline of four months, is 100% free, and counts as credit towards their machine learning specialization program, which offers a machine learning certification, for those who choose to pursue them.

Before You Take a Free Artificial Intelligence Course...

Any of the artificial intelligence courses above will give you a great foundational education.

But if you're a marketer or businessperson who wants to speed up your results and get more formal certifications...

There is another option to consider.

AI Academy for Marketers is an online learning platform that helps any marketer or business professional understand, pilot, and scale AI and machine learning.

AI Academy for Marketers has 25+ courses and 5 formal certification courses taught by the industry's top authors, marketers, and entrepreneurs.

As an AI Academy member, you get unlimited, on-demand access to education on applied machine learning and AI. Across a range of content for every type of marketing, you'll learn:

  • How to understand and use AI, machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, predictive analytics, and other key technologies.
  • How to understand and deploy advanced machine learning techniques and machine learning models on your marketing and business data.
  • How to pick and implement a machine learning project and a practical application for AI across every area of marketing.
  • Much, much more about how to increase revenue and decrease costs with AI and machine learning.

It's like an AI and machine learning bootcamp for marketing and business pros who want to get real business results from AI fast. And each major area of marketing-from content marketing to advertising to email marketing-has a specific learning path.

Memberships start at $19/month. Click here to learn more.

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About Mike Kaput

Mike Kaput is Chief Content Officer at Marketing AI Institute and a senior consultant at PR 20/20. He writes and speaks about how marketers can understand, adopt, and pilot artificial intelligence to increase revenue and reduce costs. Full bio.

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Disclosure: Marketing AI Institute writes about and recommends AI-powered marketing and sales technology. In all cases, content and recommendations are independent and objective. In some cases, Marketing AI Institute may have business relationships with companies mentioned, which may include financial compensation, affiliate compensation, or payment in kind for products or services. View a list of Institute partners here and MAICON sponsors here.