Everything you need to know about Google’s (free!) online course

If you want to learn more about what’s going on at Google, straight from the horse’s mouth, the search engine company is officially letting you pick its brain: Google is now offering a course on education site Udacity — at absolutely no cost.

According to Udacity, the class will focus on “deep learning.” And no, that doesn’t mean just learning a whole lot — though that’s bound to happen, too. Deep learning is the machine learning technique Google uses to better understand its data sets (in other words, it’s what helps the website recognize cat videos by detecting cat faces). The technology is used in several of its apps, including the Photos app, which can categorize your pictures based on what’s in them.

Before you jump on that free learning, however, be aware that it’s not recommended for beginners — the class suggests you have at least two years of programming experience and some basic machine learning knowledge — but it’s BOUND to be fascinating even if you’re completely confused. It’s a three-month course that requires approximately six hours of work per week, with four main lessons that will ultimately teach you how to build your own deep learning models.

“[The course] provides you with all the basic tools and vocabulary to get started with deep learning, and walks you through how to use it to address some of the most common machine learning problems,” Vincent Vanhoucke, a research scientist at Google and the instructor for the course, wrote in a blog post last week. “By the end of the course, you will have implemented and trained this variety of models on your own machine and will be ready to transfer that knowledge to solve your own problems!”

There’s no definite start date, so students can enroll whenever they like, and they can complete it at their own pace.

“Our overall goal in designing this course was to provide the machine learning enthusiast a rapid and direct path to solving real and interesting problems with deep learning techniques,” Vanhoucke wrote.

If you think you’ve got the experience necessary, what are you waiting for?

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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