Collaborating with Microsoft to Launch a New Specialization: Autonomous AI for Industry
From the predictive text on our phones to finding the best route with a GPS, we use artificial intelligence (AI) daily. However, its application to industries like manufacturing and logistics is still emerginG. Now more than ever, there is a growing need for professionals who can design and build autonomous AI systems that improve industrial processes.
As technology advances, employers are increasingly looking for candidates with AI skills and experience. According to research from IT analysts at Gartner, organizations are expecting to double the number of AI projects in place within the next year. This surge in AI investment is no surprise, as companies that integrate AI practices into their business operations can generate over $460 billion in incremental profit, according to research from Infosys Knowledge Institute.
To help address this demand, UW Continuum College is collaborating with Microsoft to offer a new three-course program, Autonomous AI for Industry, on the online learning platform Coursera.
The massive open online course (MOOC) explores machine teaching, a new AI paradigm that integrates traditional control methods, machine learning and reinforcement learning with the skills of expert operators to solve real industrial challenges, in complex decision-making tasks, outperforming current automated methods.
I was excited to collaborate with UW on this specialization because the field of Autonomous AI has tremendous potential as a new tool for automation, and we want to empower a broad and diverse population.— Kence Anderson, Lead Instructor, Autonomous AI for Industry specialization
This specialization takes approximately four months to complete at the suggested pace of four hours a week. No coding experience or data science skills are needed, though some familiarity with manufacturing and engineering concepts is helpful.
Some of the world's leading experts in autonomous AI and machine learning teach the specialization, including Kence Anderson, lead instructor in the program and director of autonomous AI adoption at Microsoft; Juan Vergara, senior applied AI engineer at Microsoft; John Alexander, developer and engineer relations lead in autonomous systems at Microsoft; and Teresa Escrig, principal project manager in the autonomous AI adoption team at Microsoft.
Students will receive a certificate after completing each individual course. After students have completed all three courses, they'll receive a specialization certificate from the University of Washington, signed by leaders and continuing education instructors from Microsoft and UW Continuum College.
“I was excited to collaborate with UW on this specialization because the field of Autonomous AI has tremendous potential as a new tool for automation, and we want to empower a broad and diverse population,” said Kence Anderson. “Having this specialization on your resume demonstrates that you have not only learned the skills but that you’ve applied them to building an autonomous AI system that works.”
Grant Bristow, senior manager of autonomous systems at Bell, participated in a course beta and says the course differs from other higher education programs.
“In my educational experience, this is one of the only courses I’ve seen that guides you through applying AI,” said Bristow. “I gravitate toward that because that's my bread and butter – it’s what I must do every day (at Bell). I take what is achievable in a laboratory or an academic setting and find ways that we can apply it in a way that creates value.”