Best Artificial Intelligence Courses

These are the best artificial intelligence (AI) courses for 2019. 

Best for Beginners

"AI Programming with Python Nanodegree" on Udacity is a beginner-oriented course for building artificial intelligence programs in Python.

Best for a Career

"AI & Machine Learning Career Track" on Springboard is an extensive 400-hour AI course which guarantees a job offer to all students who graduate.

Best for Experts

"AI: Reinforcement Learning in Python" on Udemy is a highly technical artificial intelligence course best suited for AI specialists with prior experience.

AI & Machine Learning Career Track

AI Programming with Python Nanodegree

AI: Reinforcement Learning in Python

AI A-Z: Learn How to Build an AI

AI for Everyone

Google AI Education

Artificial Intelligence – Columbia University

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence for Trading

The Beginner’s Guide to AI in Unity

“I often tell my students not to be misled by the name 'artificial intelligence' - there is nothing artificial about it. AI is made by humans, intended to behave by humans, and, ultimately, to impact humans' lives and human society.”

Fei Fei Li

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has compared artificial intelligence (AI) to “summoning a demon”, while also referring to it as the biggest existential threat to mankind. Right now, it’s difficult to say whether his fears over artificial intelligence are justified, as the field of AI is still fairly new, and not fully matured yet. What we CAN say is that artificial intelligence has already progressed far beyond the terrifying robots that we’ve portrayed them to be in early films and media. AI has a myriad of applications where it can help revolutionize entire industries, and specialists in artificial intelligence are being sought after like needles in a haystack.

Artificial intelligence’s goal has always been simple: To help humans work more efficiently by taking on some of their tasks. It’s achieved by AI programs utilizing some very human-like characteristics themselves.

Studying artificial intelligence isn’t easy (and likely never will be), but it’s more accessible now than it has ever been before. There are plenty of courses that can help you learn artificial intelligence online, and today we will review the best of them. Becoming an AI student isn’t limited to technical know-how: while the code may be important, the ethics, theory, and purpose of an AI system is just as essential a subject.

So, if you happen to be looking for the top artificial intelligence courses, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of them below. They vary in the focus and field of AI, but they all serve as excellent introductions or supplements to the world of artificial intelligence. More than that, they can also be great guides for advancing anyone’s education in this field, no matter how they intend to apply what they’ve learned.

What is the Best Artificial Intelligence Course?

Here are our picks for the best artificial intelligence course you can learn online:

We’ve picked these courses based on the different needs that you might have for choosing to pursue learning artificial intelligence online. Whether you’re a beginner, a subject expert, or someone simply looking to learn more about this industry, there will be a course on this list that matches your needs.

AI & Machine Learning Career Track (Springboard)​

Best for a Career

AI & Machine Learning Career Track​

Platform: Springboard Course Instructor(s): Data Scientists from Aetna, MISO Robotics, PNNL, Verizon Duration:  400 hours | Experience Level: Intermediate | Certificate of Completion: Yes 

Our Rating:
4.8/5
  • Vast amount of information
  • Excellent course instructors
  • All topics related to AI are covered
  • The admission process can be difficult

Who can take this course:

Students who have at least one year of demonstrable experience in software engineering and can pass Springboard’s programming challenge during the admission process can take this course. This Al course isn’t suitable for total beginners – for exact details, refer to the full admission eligibility criteria.

What you’ll learn: 

The AI & Machine Learning Career Track by Springboard covers everything related to artificial intelligence, including deep learning and machine learning. No stone is left unturned in this course, as it starts off with the fundamentals of AI, and finishes with the students building real-world AI applications all by themselves.

The course material is split into 7 units:

  1. Machine learning engineering stacks
  2. Scaling data wrangling for AI
  3. Machine learning fundamentals
  4. Deep learning fundamentals
  5. NLP (natural language processing)
  6. Computer vision
  7. Deploying AI systems to production

Each of the units listed above could easily be sold as separate courses on their own, as the 7 units are all incredibly resourceful and loaded with valuable information. However, Springboard decided to keep all their material within a single course, making it one of the lengthiest and value-rich AI courses ever made. The course syllabus was created for those students who want to learn all there is to know about artificial intelligence, and it does an excellent job at covering everything from the fundamentals all the way to the most technical topics of AI.

Verdict:

Springboard’s AI & Machine Learning Career Track was amongst the top-rated courses in our previous reviews on machine learning courses and deep learning courses. And, once again – it’s in the top spot in this article. There really is no way around this course when it comes to A.I-related tutorials. The course curriculum is highly in-depth, it’s comprehensive, and it covers absolutely all topics related to artificial intelligence. The guaranteed job offer for all graduates is also a huge advantage for anyone looking to start a career in AI. If you are eligible for admission into this course, then we highly recommend it as the very best course in AI.

AI Programming with Python Nanodegree​​

Best for Beginners

AI Programming with Python Nanodegree​​

Platform: Udacity Course Instructor(s): Ortal Arel, Luis Serrano, and more Duration:  3 months at 10 hours per week | Experience Level: Beginner | Certificate of Completion: Yes 

Our Rating:
4.7/5
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Hands-on student projects
  • Chance to progress into further AI courses upon graduation
  • Costs more than most other beginner courses

Who can take this course:

Udacity’s AI Programming with Python Nanodegree accepts all students regardless of their experience level, but a basic knowledge of algebra and programming are recommended. Nonetheless, this is a very beginner-friendly artificial intelligence certification program.

What you’ll learn: 

During the three months when you take this course, you will learn numerous subjects such as:

  • Introductory lessons on algebra and artificial intelligence
  • Using A.I-related tools such as Jupyter, NumPy, Anaconda, Pandas, Matplotlib
  • Creating neural networks (this already touches on the topic of deep learning)

Additionally, all students who take this AI course will create two student projects by themselves, which will be reviewed by the Udacity reviewer network. For more information about the Udacity reviewer network, here’s an interesting read from Oliver Cameron. According to him, Udacity graduates can earn $11k per month by joining the network and reviewing projects created by other students.

Verdict:

This artificial intelligence course by Udacity is a fantastic resource for any beginner wanting to get up to date with the fundamentals of A.I. It serves as an excellent jumping point for further degrees offered by Udacity, such as the intensive Machine Learning Engineer program, which we ranked highly in our review of machine learning courses. If you’re inexperienced in AI and programming, then this will be the best course for you.

Best for Experts​

AI: Reinforcement Learning in Python

Platform: Udemy Course Instructor(s): Lazy Programming Inc. Duration:  9 hours | Experience Level: Advanced | Certificate of Completion: Yes 

Our Rating:
4.7/5
  • Excellent introduction to reinforcement learning
  • Comprehensive technical instructions and exercises
  • Good primer on the psychology of AI
  • Needs extensive technical knowledge

Who can take this course:

Those who already have a strong grasp of the basics of the theoretical and technical aspects of AI are best suited for this course. Students are also required to have prior knowledge in calculus, probability, object-oriented programming, Python, Numpy, linear regression, and gradient descent.

What you’ll learn: 

If you already have foundational knowledge in AI, then this is a course which will help you take your expertise even further. This AI course moves straight into the technical details, while also expanding on the psychology of what makes AI achieve such a human-like learning capacity. You’ll understand the different ways that AI’s can learn and evolve based on different situations and use that to model a program that can be self-sufficient.

The course material covered here is highly technical, and there are no introductory lessons to give you an overview of the basics of AI. This makes the course all the more valuable for AI experts, though, as the course author skips the basics and moves straight into the advanced topics such as:

  • Approximation methods
  • Markov Decision Processes
  • Dynamic Programming

The course also dives deep into the two other directions of A.I: machine learning and deep learning.

Verdict:

Artificial Intelligence: Reinforcement Learning in Python is an excellent expert-oriented AI course designed for programmers looking to improve their knowledge of Python-based AI reinforcement learning. The course covers all the essential building blocks of creating smarter and better AI systems while skipping the introductions. As one of the more intensive technical courses on this list, this is not a good AI tutorial for the inexperienced. However, it is one of the best artificial intelligence courses you can take if you already have a solid background in programming and want to develop complex applications which show that a self-learning AI is more than a simple machine.

Artificial Intelligence A-Z™: Learn How to Build an AI​

AI A-Z: Learn How to Build an AI

Platform: Udemy Course Instructor(s): SuperDataScience Team, Hadelin de Ponteves, Kirill Eremenko Duration:  3 months | Experience Level: Beginner | Certificate of Completion: Yes 

Our Rating:
4.6/5
  • Good overview of coding AI
  • Discusses practical applications
  • Guides you thoroughly
  • Too many introductory lessons for intermediate students

Who can take this course:

Artificial Intelligence A-Z™: Learn How to Build an AI is designed for anyone who wants to get into the nitty-gritty of designing their own AI programs. It is very beginner friendly, as the course curriculum covers the basics of AI very comprehensively.

What you’ll learn: 

In this course, you will learn about:

  • Fundamentals of AI and its practical applications.
  • Ways to code your own AI without any prior background in coding or technical applications.
  • Models that power popular AI applications such as self-driving cars.

In addition, you’ll learn about the foundations of what makes an AI system the way it is. You will study and learn how to solve real-world problems with the help of artificial intelligence. The curriculum is very comprehensive, and there are more topics covered in it than most other beginner AI courses.

Verdict:

If you’ve ever wanted a crash course on how to build your very own AI as a beginner, then this is a course that will suit you best. It gives a thorough overview of why AI matters and how you can leverage it for your own purposes while presenting it in an accessible way.  Not only is it backed by expert knowledge and assistance, but the course is easy to follow and the knowledge will serve you well long after you finish the course. This is one of the most comprehensive and popular courses for beginners to learn AI systems.

AI For Everyone​

AI For Everyone​

Platform: Coursera Course Instructor(s): Andrew Ng Duration:  9 hours | Experience Level: Beginner | Certificate of Completion: Yes (Paid)

Our Rating:
4.5/5
  • Offers an easily accessible overview of AI to anyone
  • Non-technical, yet still very informative
  • Talks about ethical issues surrounding AI use
  • Might be too basic for those already familiar with AI

Who can take this course:

AI For Everyone by Andrew NG is another beginner-friendly artificial intelligence course. It’s presented in a way that isn’t too technical to overwhelm the basic user, and it still manages to give those with prior knowledge in AI some new theoretical viewpoints for consideration.

What you’ll learn: 

Unlike most of the AI courses on this list, Andrew NG decided to design this AI course not for engineers, but for non-technical employees in organizations utilizing artificial intelligence. As such, the material you will learn from this course will not be enough by itself to start developing your own AI applications and programs. You will need another course on this list to supplant your knowledge in AI programming if you want to get more hands-on experience with building artificial intelligence programs.

This course talks mainly about the theoretical applications of AI in a business setting:

  • Using AI to identify and solve various problem areas in businesses.
  • Working with an AI strategy in the roadmap of a company.
  • The ramifications of using AI in your organization.

This course is, however, highly valuable in a business setting, as it will enable non-technical employees to get a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of AI while skipping the overly technical details best suited for software engineers.

Verdict:

Andrew NG’s AI For Everyone is an excellent overview of why AI matters and how exactly it can affect the shifting needs and space of businesses today. It explains artificial intelligence in a way that’s easy to understand for non-technical students, making it one of the most accessible AI courses on the Internet.

As a largely non-technical course, it’s also ideal for business owners who are considering the possibility of integrating AI into their companies but don’t know the fundamentals of how this technology operates. This course is more than enough to answer the key questions business owners tend to have about artificial intelligence and how it can be used to help their businesses. In our opinion, it’s another one of the very best AI courses for beginners, due to its simple course material and accessibility.

Google AI Education​

Google AI Education​

Platform: Google AI | Course Instructor(s): Google Duration:  Varies | Experience Level: All | Certificate of Completion: Yes 

Our Rating:
4.5/5
  • Excellent overview of AI coding basics
  • Free
  • Accessible to beginners
  • Content is mostly text-based

Who can take this course:

Anyone who’s ever wanted to get their start in artificial intelligence can take this course. Specially crafted by Google’s engineers to be as accessible as possible, it slowly provides you with compounding knowledge on coding AI, eventually leading you to the point of being able to code artificial intelligence programs by yourself.

What you’ll learn: 

This is a series of courses, guides, and concept overviews created by Google which aim to provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge in artificial intelligence and all topics related to it.

Google’s had a long track record of using artificial intelligence within its services, and they’ve made the framework behind that technology accessible with this course. Learn artificial intelligence online with Google’s top engineers in courses that cover everything from the code to the ethics behind using AI programs.

All the courses contain sample codes, quizzes, and helpful examples which are designed to make artificial intelligence as easy to grasp for beginners as possible.

Verdict:

If you’re looking for a free artificial intelligence course that gives you a running-start, then Google AI Education is where you want to be looking. They’re a good mixture of lectures, hands-on programming exercises, and quick guides that you can use long after the course is done. This AI course also earned the #1 top spot in a review by Forbes, and for good reason. It truly is one of the best free artificial intelligence courses currently available.

Artificial Intelligence - Columbia University​

Platform: edX Course Instructor(s): Ansaf Salleb-Aouissi (Columbia University) Duration:  3 months | Experience Level: Intermediate | Certificate of Completion: Yes (Paid)

Our Rating:
4.5/5
  • All-inclusive course material which touches on many topics
  • Course material can be accessed for free
  • Full of hands-on exercises
  • Requires prior knowledge in Python

Who can take this course:

This course is intended for students who have basic knowledge in statistics, algebra, calculus, and Python. The most important of these prerequisites could be considered knowledge in Python, as the homework assignments throughout the course all require the usage of Python.

What you’ll learn: 

The course syllabus starts off with introductory lectures on artificial intelligence and its history. After these introductory sessions, though, the course material gets more technical, with topics such as:

  • Uninformed, heuristic, and adversarial searches
  • Machine learning models
  • Deep learning models
  • Natural language processing AI applications
  • Vision & Robotic AI applications

Due to the hands-on nature of the course, students will be able to build practical expertise during the numerous student projects which are scattered throughout the online course. At first, students will build a basic search agent, before moving onto developing more complex artificial intelligence applications such as games and linear regression models.

Verdict:

Columbia University’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) course is all-inclusive, and it contains lots of useful hands-on exercises for the students. While this course is not a good suit for students who have no experience with Python, it IS a great resource for all those who feel comfortable in Python, and want to learn to build AI applications. It’s one of the best artificial intelligence courses for building Python-based applications.

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence​

Platform: edX Course Instructor(s): Graeme Malcolm Duration:  4 weeks | Experience Level: Beginner | Certificate of Completion: Yes

Our Rating:
4.4/5
  • A comprehensive guide to the basics of AI and machine learning
  • Gives a good overview of Python and Microsoft cognitive services
  • Allows you to grasp the basics of building chatbots
  • Somewhat limited by its dependence on Microsoft’s Azure platform

Who can take this course:

Anyone who’s ever wanted to refine their programming skills by learning Microsoft’s very own cloud computing program can benefit from this course. While it’s introductory in nature, a basic familiarity with programming languages (especially Python) is still recommended.

What you’ll learn: 

One of the most important things you’ll learn from this course is the different avenues through which machines and humans can interact with each other. It starts off by teaching you the foundational mechanics of how people and computers behave. Then, it uses that overview to help you build a framework for making your AI more human-like, and uses that framework to create basic programs and bots that can communicate with people. A large part of the course revolves around machine learning and using that to apply to things like text, audio, and video, helping your AI program communicate effectively with a human user.

Verdict:

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence by edX is an excellent AI course for those who want to build AI programs on the Microsoft Azure platform. It’s extremely handy when it comes to building websites and databases that need some sort of digital assistance without having actual staff on call. The course is free and assistance is provided to help you get used to the Azure platform, giving you a clear path to follow even after the course is complete.

Artificial Intelligence for Trading​

Artificial Intelligence for Trading​

Platform: Udacity Course Instructor(s): Cindy Lin, Arpan Chakraborty, Elizabeth Otto Hamel, and more Duration:  6 months at 10 hours per week | Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced | Certificate of Completion: Yes 

Our Rating:
4.4/5
  • Focused overview of financial AI
  • Full support by industry experts
  • Can help advance trading knowledge
  • Hyper-specialized and needs prerequisite experience

Who can take this course:

Those that already have a grasp of programming languages such as Python and find themselves curious about the quantitative power of AI in the financial industry are best suited for this program.

What you’ll learn: 

One of the biggest contributions that AI can give to any business is its ability to process numbers. In this course, you will learn how to create a program that can process data and manage your portfolio, and you will dip your toes into deep learning for forecasting market trends.

The entire course is focused on one specific use of artificial intelligence, which is its use in quantitative trading and the financial industry.

Some of the subjects covered in this online course include:

  • Analyzing corporate filings to generate trading signals used for AI programs
  • Using neural networks to generate trading signals
  • Creating algorithms to execute trading orders
  • Using stock news data in AI algorithms

Verdict:

With a specialization in the financial capabilities of artificial intelligence, Artificial Intelligence for Trading by Udacity can effectively combine the pragmatic approach of AI with the numbers-driven game of financial forecasting to give an education like no other. If you’re looking to improve your day-trading through automation, then this will be a course with lots of value to you. Those who want to learn the financial aspect of artificial intelligence will find this AI course amongst the best available, as it’s one of the very few courses available that tackle AI from a strictly financial standpoint.

The Beginner's Guide to Artificial Intelligence in Unity​

The Beginner's Guide to AI in Unity

Platform: Udemy Course Instructor(s): Penny de Byl Duration:  9 hours | Experience Level: Intermediate | Certificate of Completion: Yes 

Our Rating:
4.3/5
  • Fantastic resource for creating AI programs in Unity
  • Course creator is an expert in gaming AI
  • Contains hands-on exercises
  • Only relevant for game developers

Who can take this course:

Students who are familiar with C# and Unity and are interested in game development are perfect for this AI course.

What you’ll learn: 

The Beginner’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence in Unity will teach you:

  • A general overview of AI and its uses in gaming
  • How to create artificial intelligence programs in the Unity engine
  • Programming artificially intelligent non-player characters in games
  • Implementing A.I-related Unity Asset plugins into gaming projects

As you can see, all the material covered in this artificial intelligence course relates to gaming. By the end of the course, you will be able to program a variety of different AI applications into your Unity game projects, and you will have a comprehensive overview of the top options available to you.

Verdict:

This AI course is very niche-specific, as it only focuses on gaming-related artificial intelligence applications. If you’re a budding game developer who wants to add a touch of AI into your games, then this will be the best artificial intelligence course for your needs.

How to Choose a Good Artificial Intelligence Course

There are obvious differences in the requirements and goals of each course, and it’s recommended that you adjust your picks according to those differences. Of course, it’s always possible to start with the basics and move your way upwards from there, but it’s also important to keep in mind how much knowledge you actually need, amongst other choosing factors.

Before buying any of the best artificial intelligence courses on this list, try to ask yourself the following questions:

Learning Goals

What is the primary knowledge or skill that you wish to take away from the artificial intelligence online course?

Is it knowledge about the fundamentals of AI?

Perhaps it’s the ability to build real-world AI applications?

Or, maybe it’s how to build non-player characters through artificial intelligence in video games?

There are plenty of good reasons for choosing to study artificial intelligence online, and no reason is better than the other. What’s important, though, is that you identify your learning goals as soon as possible – before deciding on any specific course. All the courses on this list have vastly different learning goals from one another, despite all of them being called AI courses. It’s highly important that you find a course which correlates to your personal learning goals – otherwise, you will end up with knowledge you can’t use.

Theoretical vs Practical Learning

It’s also critical that you pick a course that aligns with the way you prefer to learn. All of us have different styles of learning that can make certain courses easier or harder than others, and picking the right kind of instruction method can make all the difference. Some of these Al courses are more bent to media presentation while others stress hands-on learning, so it’ll be up to you to decide which learning method suits you best.

This point also closely correlates with the previous topic – your learning goals. If your ultimate goal is to develop your very own AI programs, then a hands-on type of practical learning approach will suit you best. If, however, your primary goal is to become familiar with the basics of AI without diving deep into the technical side of it, then you might prefer a beginner-oriented theoretical artificial intelligence online course. Think about what you really need from your course – and choose a course accordingly.

Experience Level

Naturally, your level of experience also plays a huge role in choosing an artificial intelligence online course. Many of the AI courses on this list are suitable for beginners, but not all of them. Some of them are designed from the ground up specifically for programmers, and those students who have no prior experience in programming will find themselves lost from the very beginning of the course syllabus.

Even if your end goal is to become a hands-on expert in the field of artificial intelligence who can build complex AI applications, then still try to choose a course which matches your CURRENT level of knowledge. If you have no prior experience in AI or programming, then start off with a basic course. You can always supplant your knowledge with more advanced courses. You wouldn’t start studying the basics of Spanish from a Ph.D. level Spanish linguistics course, would you?

Online Course Platforms

As you’ve probably already noticed, there are a vast number of online course platforms to choose from nowadays. None of them are “better” or “worse” than the other, but they all serve slightly different purposes.

Springboard, for example, focuses on online courses which are highly in-depth and cover absolutely all material related to a topic (in this case, artificial intelligence). They have very few courses available, and being admitted to these courses can be difficult. However, those who do manage to graduate from their courses will be as knowledgeable in the subject as any university graduate.

Udemy, however, is on the other side of the spectrum, as it focuses mostly on shorter online courses. These shorter courses often teach very specific niches of a single larger topic, such as the gaming-related AI course in this article. While Udemy does also have some lengthy courses available, their main target audience is students who wish to learn a topic quickly, affordably, and efficiently.

There are many more excellent platforms to choose from besides these two, but introducing them all is a topic for another time. Just keep in mind that each online course platform has strengths and weaknesses, and try to get a good understanding of the types of courses they have available before deciding on any specific platform.

Reasons to Study Artificial Intelligence Online

There are plenty of excellent reasons to study artificial intelligence with online courses:

AI is the future of technology

In the coming years, we may very well see a future where AI seeps into almost every aspect of our day-to-day lives. You could argue that it’s already happening. Many of our rudimentary processes today—the technology that powers our smartphones, our transport systems, and even our medical technology—are all influenced by the small advances and shifts in artificial intelligence.

Learning exactly what makes this field so fascinating and so useful to our problems today can be the key to unlocking the vast possibilities that technology has always provided. Using tech to make our machines more human has a wide variety of implications but at the end of the day, these machines still remain tools for our use.

Specialists of AI are in high demand

Artificial intelligence specialists are becoming the cornerstones of modern tech companies, and we don’t see this changing anytime soon. On the contrary – AI is still in the initial stages of growth, and we will see more and more companies starting to take advantage of it in the coming years. This is why right now is one of the best times to start studying artificial intelligence.

If you focus the next 10 years of your career on AI, you will become a true expert in the field, and you will have more job opportunities to choose from than anyone else in the information technology sector. And, of course- your salary will reflect this demand as well.

Courses in AI are cheaper than a degree

The average cost of an artificial intelligence degree is up to $42,917 for out of state residents, not taking into account all of the additional fees which come included with studying at university.

The most expensive artificial intelligence online courses, on the other hand, will only set you back a few thousand dollars. And, another advantage they have is saved time – even the lengthiest AI course on this list can be completed 3-4x quicker than a regular university degree.

People often say that students who graduate from an online course are not on the same level of knowledge as university graduates, but that is simply not the case. The best artificial intelligence course on this list packs 400 hours of content, together with extensive student projects, opportunities for further course progression, and a guaranteed job proposal.

Learning artificial intelligence online will save you both time and money, so think twice before going into student debt over a traditional university degree in AI. If you are ever looking for a place to learn artificial intelligence online, then take a look through this list of the best AI online courses.

Final words

At the end of the day, picking where to study artificial intelligence is entirely up to what you intend on using it for: either as a supplement to already existing knowledge; a primer on entering a new and exciting world of opportunities; or simply to inform your business decisions moving forward. The beautiful thing about artificial intelligence and online courses is there’s something for everyone, no matter their background or purpose.

Choosing any of the courses above gives you an artificial intelligence certification once you complete your training, allowing you to expand your business opportunities, make you more employable, and generally add to your skillset. While it’s still a very niche industry, taking an artificial intelligence course is an investment that will pay off in the long run, considering how fast the technology is growing and the potential for implementation in so many career fields. Good luck, e-students!