Google, Coursera Launch Machine Learning Course Series

Google, Coursera Launch Machine Learning Course Series

Google and the online learning platform Coursera are launching a five-course machine learning specialization to teach developers how to build machine learning models using the TensorFlow framework, Frederic Lardinois reports at TechCrunch:

The new specialization, called “Machine Learning with TensorFlow on Google Cloud Platform,” has students build real-world machine learning models. It takes them from setting up their environment to learning how to create and sanitize datasets to writing distributed models in TensorFlow, improving the accuracy of those models and tuning them to find the right parameters.

As Google’s Big Data and Machine Learning Tech Lead Lak Lakshmanan told me, his team heard that students and companies really liked the original machine learning course but wanted an option to dig deeper into the material. Students wanted to know not just how to build a basic model but also how to then use it in production in the cloud, for example, or how to build the data pipeline for it and figure out how to tune the parameters to get better results. …

It’s worth noting that these courses expect that you are already a somewhat competent programmer. While it has gotten much easier to start with machine learning thanks to new frameworks like TensorFlow, this is still an advanced skill.

The new series is a continuation of Google’s longstanding partnership with Coursera, through which the tech giant went public with its internal IT support training curriculum earlier this year.

The goal of the Coursera IT support program is for students to be ready for entry-level IT support jobs within a year of completing the training, which consists of 64 hours of video lessons as well as interactive labs and assignments. That program costs $49 per month, and Google is also providing full funding to 10,000 students, whether or not it ends up hiring them. Google’s objective in that program is to build a bigger pipeline of talent with the specialized skills it requires (even if its competitors also need that talent and end up hiring some of the students who take the course).

Coursera has also partnered with other tech companies on similar certificate programs. Last year, one of its co-founders, Stanford University professor Andrew Ng, launched an online AI school aimed at bringing AI development skills to a broader segment of the workforce, in recognition of the outsized role this technology is expected to play in the workplace of the future. His website,, offers programmers with no background in AI basic training in how to use deep learning, the main technique behind the generation of AI currently being developed.