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Nvidia opens paid, instructor-led AI workshops to the public

While many technology vendors offer online courses on how to use their AI products, it still might not be enough to educate the global workforce.

Nvidia on Friday said it is opening its instructor-led AI workshops to the general public, offering a variety of hands-on classes on topics such as coding in Python and using AI for predictive maintenance.

The instructor-led courses, offered by the Nvidia Deep Learning Institute, were previously available only to organizations looking for dedicated training for their employees, or to Nvidia conference attendees.

Nvidia is scheduling a few courses a month on topics that include AI for anomaly detection, the fundamentals of deep learning, and deep learning for autonomous vehicles. Prices are from $500 to $700.

Nvidia also offers self-paced online certification courses, which cost significantly less at $30 to $90 a course.

The GPU maker and AI software giant is not the only technology vendor that offers online training courses. Google, AWS and Microsoft, for example, offer a variety of certification courses, as do many medium-sized AI companies and startups.

Compared to the scale and impact of AI on society, however, there is a scarcity of AI courses, said Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder and principal analyst at Deep Analysis.

The biggest gap at present is in teaching nontechnical businesspeople [about AI].
Alan Pelz-SharpeFounder and principal analyst, Deep Analysis

"The biggest gap at present is in teaching nontechnical businesspeople the uses, challenges and opportunities for AI in the enterprise," he said. "Courses that teach the use and deployment of AI amid the complexity of legacy IT."

Often, AI workshops and courses offered by a technology vendor focus on how to use that vendor's products, without straying too far off that path.

Meanwhile, courses that delve into general concepts of AI often do so through a vendor-esque lens. Microsoft's AI Business School, for example, offers self-taught courses on topics such as how to scale AI or deploy responsible AI, but the course materials often reference Microsoft culture and products.

The courses are a way for vendors to get potential customers interested in their products. Users, meanwhile, get free or relatively inexpensive AI education.

Comparatively few higher-education institutions offer practical courses on AI, although that is changing, with more colleges and universities providing AI education options.

Even so, those vendor programs and college courses, which are often theoretical, are still not enough to educate the global workforce, Pelz-Sharpe noted.

Nvidia opening its AI workshops to the general public is positive, Pelz-Sharpe said, but ultimately, "it's a drop in the ocean when one thinks of the broader global need."

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