Even if you don’t have a large training budget, you can still democratize your AI. Here are ways to get AI training and the resources your staff needs.
Organizations fail to adopt AI risks that lag behind in their markets. Even without a budget for that, advancing AI knowledge in your organization must include democratization of AI so that it can become a province of daily operations, and not just data scientists.
“‘Democratization’ can be a dirty word,” wrote blogger Chrissy Kidd in 2019. “Some people hear it and juggle long conference calls or work meetings together with words such as synchronicity and alignment. However, on the far side is far more positive, democratization is a good thing, where useful resources can become more easily available to the masses. ”
Kidd said many companies were unsure how to begin. “Many other companies are behind. They might not know how to start using AI, and they might not have the resources to make their own AI.”
Not knowing exactly what AI is, what can and cannot be done, and how to expand its use to various areas of the organization is where most companies are located. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, companies are also worried about the operating budget and how much they can invest. In this environment, discretionary expenditure such as internal staff training is one of the first items in the budget to get scale back.
One way to keep AI momentum moving forward while also saving budget is to utilize free AI education resources that can help employees at all levels of the learning organization.
Here are two great and free ways to do this.
Yes, you can take free AI courses to start your education or sharpen your AI skills.
- Google offers a free online Learning Engine Crash Course. It’s 15 hours of work consisting of 25 lessons and 40 exercises. There is also a free four-hour introductory course for machine learning.
- Free courses are also available to get started with IBM Watson, and also for education about Watson’s cognitive learning function.
- Microsoft offers a free AI bootcamp for business executives.
The open-source community is rich with free AI tools that allow employees to engage with AI. Many of these tools provide on-ramp into AI application development methods that can be linked directly to corporate IT and data science work with AI.
Following are a few small examples of free AI tools available as open source:
- IBM Watson Studio Desktop is available for academic and educational institutions as free, open-source AI software in the cloud. This tool includes AI and subsets of disciplines such as machine learning. Watson is a well-established platform that students and staff can use to experiment as they develop their AI skills. Watson also offers code-free analysis tools, making it easier for non-IT and data science staff to experiment.
- Apache Mahout is a free AI tool for data mining on Hadoop, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Yahoo. This is very useful in online sales and marketing, given its ability to use machines recommending purchases, along with filtering data that can target users and customers.
- OpenNN provides fast AI data processing speeds and free neural network libraries. The sweet spot is related to machine learning, sophisticated algorithms, and neural network design. This has had results that have had a major impact on the utility and infrastructure sectors. OpenNN focuses on AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics. This is an open-source tool that is best used by IT and data professionals.
There are free AI resources and tools out there that can help you and your organization enrich your AI knowledge. At the same time, you can pay attention to your company’s financial bottom line as you continue to move forward with your AI.