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AWS launches machine learning training for business leaders

Amazon Web Services has launched free digital training courses in a bid to empower business leaders with machine learning knowledge.

The company this week unveiled Machine Learning Essentials for Business and Technical Decision Makers, a series of three free, on-demand, digital-training courses from AWS Training and Certification. 

According to AWS, the courses are intended to empower business leaders and technical decision makers with the foundational knowledge needed to begin shaping a machine learning strategy for their organisation, even if they have no prior ML experience. 

Each 30-minute course includes real-world examples from Amazon’s 20+ years of experience scaling ML within its own operations as well as lessons learned through countless successful customer implementations. 

The new courses are based on content delivered through the AWS Machine Learning Embark programme, an exclusive, hands-on, ML accelerator that brings together executives and technologists at an organisation to solve business problems with ML via a holistic learning experience. 

After completing the three courses, business leaders and technical decision makers will be better able to assess their organisation’s readiness, identify areas of the business where ML will be the most impactful, and identify concrete next steps.

“Machine learning has the potential to transform nearly every industry, but organisations need skilled employees to implement ML at scale," says Andrew Sklar, Head of AWS Training and Certification in Asia Pacific and Japan.

"This includes both business leaders, who need foundational knowledge to make informed choices for their organisation, and technical professionals, who can implement ML technology solutions," he says.

"Our goal for this course is to help busy decision makers, including those with no prior ML experience, grow their knowledge up the learning curve quickly.

"In my experience, organisations that invest in cloud training across their organisation are able to achieve digital transformation faster.”

The new Machine Learning Essentials for Business and Technical Decision Makers series presents one more step in this direction, with three courses:

  • Machine Learning: The Art of the Possible is the first course in the series. Using clear language and specific examples, this course helps you understand the fundamentals of ML, common use cases, and even potential challenges.
  • Planning a Machine Learning Project – the second course – breaks down how you can help your organisation plan for an ML project. Starting with the process of assessing whether ML is the right fit for your goals and progressing through the key questions you need to ask during deployment, this course helps you understand important issues, such as data readiness, project timelines, and deployment.
  • Building a Machine Learning Ready Organisation – the final course- offers insights into how to prepare your organisation to successfully implement ML, from data-strategy evaluation, to culture, to starting an ML pilot, and more.
  • Democratising access to free ML training

ML has the potential to transform nearly every industry, but most organisations struggle to adopt and implement ML at scale. Recent Gartner research shows that only 53% of ML projects make it from prototype to production.

The most common barriers seen today are business and culture related. For instance, organisations often struggle to identify the right use cases to start their ML journey; this is often exacerbated by a shortage of skilled talent to execute on an organisation’s ML ambitions. 

In fact, as an additional Gartner study shows, “skills of staff” is the number one challenge or barrier to the adoption of artificial intelligence and ML. Business leaders play a critical role in addressing these challenges by driving a culture of continuous learning and innovation; however, many lack the resources to develop their own knowledge of ML and its use cases.

"With the new Machine Learning Essentials for Business and Technical Decision Makers course, we’re making a portion of the AWS Machine Learning Embark curriculum available globally as free, self-paced, digital-training courses," AWS says.

In addition to giving access to ML Embark content through the Machine Learning Essentials for Business and Technical Decision Makers, AWS is also expanding the availability of the full ML Embark programme through key strategic AWS Partners