Amazon Makes Its Machine Learning Courses Free

By Noah Long ● November 28, 2018

This week, Amazon announced that its machine learning courses are now available for developers that sign up for the Amazon Web Service (AWS) platform for free. In the past, this program was only available for Amazon’s employees. Amazon’s machine learning program is spread across 30 courses total and includes over 45 hours of materials, videos, and lab tests.

“We’ve been using machine learning across Amazon for more than 20 years. With thousands of engineers focused on machine learning across the company, there are very few Amazon retail pages, products, fulfillment technologies, stores which haven’t been improved through the use of machine learning in one way or another,” said Amazon’s general manager of artificial intelligence at AWS Dr. Matt Wood. “Many AWS customers share this enthusiasm, and our mission has been to take machine learning from something which had previously been only available to the largest, most well-funded technology companies, and put it in the hands of every developer.”

These courses were designed for machine learning developers ranging from beginners to those with advanced knowledge. And the courses are split into four main programs, which are tailored for developers, data scientists, platform engineers, and business professionals.

The courses start with fundamental concepts leading up to real-world examples that employees at Amazon had to solve. This includes predicting gift wrapping eligibility, delivery route optimization, and predicting entertainment award nominations based on data from Amazon’s IMDb subsidiary. And the coursework helps consolidate best practices and demonstrates how to get a range of AWS machine learning services such as Amazon SageMaker, AWS DeepLens, Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, and Amazon Comprehend.

Even though the courses are free, developers would have to pay for the cloud services used for lab testing. And Amazon is offering a “AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty” certification at a price of $300. As of right now, this exam is in beta and is discounted at $150.