Generative AI For Beginners
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 06 December 2023

Here are two introductions to Generative AI  - one from DeepLearning.AI presented by Andrew Ng, the other from Google Cloud Training. Both are on the Coursera platform and both are short, six hours and less than one hour respectively. 

Tis the season of social gatherings and given the way in which Gen AI (standing for Generative Artificial Intelligence) has hit the headlines, anyone perceived as an "insider" as far tech is concerned is likely to face questions such as: 

  • Can we trust ChatGPT/Bard?
  • Is AI going to take over my job?
  • Is AI really an existential threat?

OK, I'm not saying that following either or both of these courses is going to give you the answer these questions, but by providing the basics in language for non-techies at least you'll be well informed and ready to form your own opinions.

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

Having taught his Stanford Machine Learning course to early learners in this topic both on you YouTube and as a MOOC Andrew Ng co-founded Coursera in 2012 and then founded DeepLearning.AI in 2017. His latest course, Generative AI for Everyone comes from DeepLearning.AI and is on the Coursera Platform. It is estimated to require 6hrs spread over 3 weeks with two lessons per week, though of course you can polish it off more quickly if required. The topics of each week are:

  • What generative AI is and how it works, its common use cases, and what this technology can and cannot do.

  • How to think through the lifecycle of a generative AI project, from conception to launch, including how to build effective prompts.

  • The potential opportunities and risks that generative AI technologies present to individuals, businesses, and society. 

AndrewNg gen AI everyone

Its format is a series of short videos,10 per week with an introduction by Andrew at the start of each week then its topics clearly presented in slides.The second week includes an optional extra - the opportunity to use an app on the platform to try generative AI code for yourself - either just running the code to get Open AI's GPT 3.5 to read restaurant reviews and classify sentiment or playing with the code to experiment with prompting the LLM.

There are quizzes with 5 multiple-choice questions at the end of each week. To pass the course and earn a certificate you need 80% on each of these at the end of each week, but if you audit the course for free you can't submit the answers for grading.

As well as English this course is available in Spanish, German and French. This doesn't extend to the videos, but there is a full transcript.

Looking at the reviews to find out what students think, the vast majority award 5 stars, resulting in an average of  4.9. Here's a sample:

5 - I think it’s a must to watch for every one interested in this field. Also helps you get better sleep after all the media hype that AI is gonna take the world :)

5 - A quick yet thorough overview of the current Gen-AI domain and LLMs in particular. Andrew Ng's insight and experience make this course shine. Much appreciated!

4 - Course overall is brilliant but more practical knowledge would really help in the implementation as we had in first week.

If you want a more in-depth, hand-on introduction to generative AI. see Get Hands-On With Generative AI On Coursera where I outline Generative AI with Large Language Models from DeepLearning.AI in conjunction with AWS.  

The short Google course, Introduction to Generative AI sets out to

  • Define Generative AI
  • Explain how Generative AI work
  • Describe Generative AI Model Types
  • Describe Generative AI Applications

It covers all this in a single video lasting 21 minutes. We never see the presenter, Gwendolyn Stripling,  just a series of well laid out slides: 

google genai

The other component of the course is a reading list with links to a lot of external materials. This is really useful and goes well beyond the stated aims of the course and will give you both the facts and contrasting opinions about the current, or rather the recent, state of AI. However, there's much more than 40 minutes of reading. 

There's a single quiz, consisting of 5 multiple choice questions  testing your understanding if the video presentation.This is a free course and students have access to all the materials including the quiz without needing to pay. If you want a certificate the cost is $49.

This course has average star rating of  4.6. 

5 - This is really useful for beginner who wants to understand about generative AI and what it does basically. One must go for it.

5 - This is a beginner friendly course here I learnt the concepts in depth. I have just heard about these words and kept wondering for a proper clarity in my concept and this course has made it!

4 - Additional explanatory videos focusing on AI concepts are needed for beginners without prior experience aiming to provide comprehensive explanations in a more accessible manner

If want more from Google see Follow Google's Generative AI Learning Path.

gen AI everyone sq

More Information

Generative AI for Everyone

Introduction to Generative AI

Related Articles

Follow Google's Generative AI Learning Path

Get Hands-On With Generative AI On Coursera

Take Vanderbilt's Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT For Free

Free Course On ChatGPT Prompt Engineering



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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 April 2024 )