AI For Everyone Now Underway
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 01 March 2019

Andrew Ng's AI MOOC for a non-technical audience is up and running on the Coursera platform. It is intended to help organizations become better at using AI. Sounds like a good idea. We audited it to find out what it covers.

Disclosure: When you make a purchase having followed a link to Coursera from this article, we may earn an affiliate commission.


I have to admit that I was excited by the prospect of this course, when it was announced, last November, even though I realized that it wasn't designed either for the I Programmer team, nor the majority of our readers. However, as it was being created by Andrew Ng's company, to be taught by Ng himself, I was quick to sign up to hear more and this week received an email informing me of the start and encouraging me to enroll with:

For non-engineersThis course will teach you how to select promising AI projects, how to work with AI engineers, and how to set AI strategy. You’ll learn what AI can and cannot do today and how to leverage its awesome capabilities for your work.

For engineers: You’ll find this course non-technical, but if you’re interested in learning the business aspects of AI, this course will be a great resource. And if you want your company to embrace AI, quite possibly the best thing you could do is get your CEO to take this!

Back in November, and based on the details available then, I described AI for Everyone as:

aimed at business leaders with the idea of helping them understand technologies like machine learning and deep learning to be able to spot opportunities to apply AI to problems in their own organizations. The course also provides guidance on how to manage and organize AI teams within companies more effectively as well as the basic tools to understand AI-oriented production and projects and, in turn, help learners cut through the hype to discern what AI truly can and cannot do.

The details, now that the course is running is that it a self-paced course which will take a total of about 11 hours to complete in its entirety. It divided into four sections:

Week 1: What Is AI
9 videos (Total 69 minutes)

Week 2: Building AI Projects 
8 videos (Total 52 minutes)

Week 3: Building AI In Your Company
10 videos (Total 90 minutes)

Week 4:  AI and Society
8 videos (Total 50 minutes)

Each week also has a quiz to test your understanding of the material, but to unlock the quiz you have to enroll. This costs only $49 and also provides you with a certificate that you can share on Linked In or add to your resume on successful completion of the course.

Andrew Ng presents all the material. Videos typically start and end with him talking to camera, while the main content consists of slides being built up and annotated on a whiteboard. You can use a Save Note facility to capture the screens and to save lines from the transcript that appears below the video. If you use this Notes feature you can then add your own notes.

The course does cover the ground it says it will:

  • The meaning behind common AI terminology, including neural networks, machine learning, deep learning, and data science
  • What AI realistically can,and cannot do
  • How to spot opportunities to apply AI to problems in your own organization
  • What it feels like to build machine learning and data science projects
  • How to work with an AI team and build an AI strategy in your company
  • How to navigate ethical and societal discussions surrounding AI

Somehow, though, stripped of the technical details, AI just isn't as compelling or exciting. Maybe this isn't such a bad thing. In the very first lecture Ng is careful to limit expectations, making a distinction between ANI - artificial narrow intelligence - AI applied to specific problems, such as self-driving cars, where there is a lot of progress, and AGI, artificial general intelligence which he explains is the goal to build AI that can do anything a human can do or maybe even more, which he thinks is making almost no progress at present - although a worthy goal for research. 

Much of the material in Week 3 comes from Andrew Ng's AI Transformation Playbook is freely available as a 12-page pdf with the subtitle How to lead your company in the AI era.

This new course does have the same aim and early adopters seem to like it as it already has a rating of 4.9 out of 5. Personally as I came to it with very high expectations, based on my experience of Andrew Ng original Machine Learning Course on Coursera, I'm not bowled over by it. On the other hand I can't really find fault with it. After all I can hardly criticize it for giving the impression of  being aimed at managers when that is the stated intent. 

If you are an engineer, see Machine Learning At All Levels On Coursera for courses I can recommend.




More Information 

AI For Everyone

Related Articles

Machine Learning At All Levels On Coursera

Andrew Ng on Advances In Deep Learning

Top CS MOOCs By the Numbers 

Read Andrew Ng's New AI Book As He Writes It!

Machine Learning Superstar Andrew Ng Moving On

Baidu Hires Andrew Ng

Coursera's Machine Learning Course Runs Again

Hidden Benefits of Online Machine Learning

To be informed about new articles on I Programmer, sign up for our weekly newsletter, subscribe to the RSS feed and follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.


Python Is Everywhere - 2021 Survey Results

The results of the 2021 Python Developers Survey, conducted as a collaborative effort between the Python Software Foundation and JetBrains have been published. We take a look.

Apache HOP 2.0 Released

Apache Hop 2.0 has been released. The Hop orchestration platform is an open source data integration platform in which everything is treated as metadata, meaning it can work with most data platfor [ ... ]

More News





or email your comment to:

Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 November 2019 )