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Free AI for Beginners Course

Microsoft has put together an AI course for beginners, consisting of a 12 week, 24 lesson curriculum, available for free to all.

AI For Beginners: A Free Introductory Course From Microsoft
Image by @girlie_mac


If you're looking for a free introductory AI course for beginner's, Microsoft has got you covered.

The aptly-named Artificial Intelligence for Beginners is put together by Microsoft Azure Cloud Advocates, and consists of a 12 week, 24 lesson curriculum designed to introduce learners to the wonderful world of AI.

This curriculum will introduce learners to a variety of AI concepts, including, but not limited to:

  • "Classical" GOFAI (good old fashion AI) approaches to AI, from symbolic approaches to knowledge representation and reasoning
  • Modern approaches to AI, the backbone to which are neural networks and they deep learning techniques they allow
  • Implementation of modern AI topics using TensorFlow and PyTorch
  • Neural network architectures for images and text
  • Alternative AI methods, including genetic algorithms and multi-agent systems

You can see specific course content, laid out lesson by lesson, here.

Lessons are taught using a variety of materials. Some of the common resources leveraged in lessons include:

  • Pre-reading introductory materials, specific to the course lesson; here's an example for Knowledge Representation and Knowledge Systems
  • Instructive Jupyter notebooks, specific to PyTorch or TensorFlow, generally one for each framework per lesson
  • Labs, which are assignments to be performed by learners, and which are Jupyter notebooks to be completed
  • Occasional links to Microsfot Learn modules for related topics; Microsoft Learn provides access to GPU-enabled environments

You can find a mind map of the course here.

If you are interested in knowing more, you might want to get to know the instructors for the course in the video below.



There are so many available courses these days covering every imaginable data science, machine learning, AI and analytics topic conceviable, so you really need to to your due diligence to ensure which courses match your goals. We hope that helping cut through the noise with these articles highlighting quality free courses is useful, but don't forget to investigate each offering before jumping in. This course from Microsoft is now different. However, if you are an AI beginner looking to understand the current landscape of concepts, techniques, and topics, this course is a promising possibility.

Matthew Mayo (@mattmayo13) is a Data Scientist and the Editor-in-Chief of KDnuggets, the seminal online Data Science and Machine Learning resource. His interests lie in natural language processing, algorithm design and optimization, unsupervised learning, neural networks, and automated approaches to machine learning. Matthew holds a Master's degree in computer science and a graduate diploma in data mining. He can be reached at editor1 at kdnuggets[dot]com.