Google, Udacity Announce Deep Learning Course


The educational platform Udacity has joined forces with Google to offer a free online course on deep learning as part of Udacity’s machine learning engineering program.

Vincent Vanhoucke, a principal scientist and Head of Google Brain’s technical team will be the instructor. It is an advanced course designed for people with some background in the field, and participants are expected to dedicate approximately six hours a week for three months.

As mentioned on the official course site, “participants will develop a clear understanding of the motivation for deep learning, and design intelligent systems that learn from complex and large-scale datasets.”

Next to that, the course will also present the brand new platform TensorFlow, which Google introduced in November of last year. It is worth mentioning that no specialized computer is required to join the course — just a properly working personal computer will suffice, writes Dylan Love of the Inverse.

Vanhoucke, the course instructor, confirmed that deep learning was not limited to tech companies that can comply with Google’s resources. According to him, TensorFlow has already become popular among a wide range of users.

Mohid Ahmed from Bidness Etc., suggests that deep learning is quite similar to the human brain. Its neural networks are trained for massive amounts of data. Subsequently, they adapt themselves to new kinds of information based on the associations gathered from the new and old data.

As mentioned by Pavithra Mohan of the Fast Company, deep learning, as a part of machine learning, helps them detect and classify patterns in data and is a frequently-used technology by Google. The company uses it not only for highly-specialized artificial intelligence work, adds Dylan Love, but also for Google Photos and the voice recognition program. Deep learning technology also helped Google create a method to prevent users from unwillingly viewing ads or visiting websites, writes Ahmed.

Vanhoucke commented on how deep learning is the next step in the evolution of how we consider and process data:

“Deep learning is a modern take on the old idea of teaching computers, instead of programming them. It has taken the world of machine learning by storm in recent years, and for good reason! Deep learning provides state-of-the-art results in many of the thorniest problems in computing, from machine perception and forecasting, to analytics and natural language processing.”

Google isn’t alone in its interest in deep learning. Apple also announced its plans in the field and will soon open a development center in Italy to train iOS developers.

In order to improve its facial recognition capabilities, Facebook has also made use of deep learning. The social network also publicly revealed some of its artificial intelligence tools, and in the summer of last year, Facebook opened a deep learning lab in the heart of Paris.

Cooperation between high-tech companies and learning platforms will increase the talent bank. In turn, this will lead to creating technologies that can better-serve humans in positive ways in the future.