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Online education platform Udacity has partnered with IBM Watson to launch a new artificial intelligence (AI) Nanodegree program.

Costing $1,600 for the full two-term, 26-week course, the AI Nanodegree covers a myriad of topics including logic and planning, probabilistic inference, game-playing / search, computer vision, cognitive systems, and natural language processing (NLP). It’s worth noting here that Udacity already offers an Intro to Artificial Intelligence (free) course and the Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree, but with the A.I. Nanodegree program IBM Watson is seeking to help give developers a “foundational understanding of artificial intelligence,” while also helping graduates identify job opportunities in the space.

IBM Watson, for the uninitiated, is IBM’s platform that uses machine learning and NLP to reveal key insights from vast swaths of unstructured data. “As A.I. begins to power more technology across industries, it’s been truly exciting to see what our community of developers can create with Watson,” said Rob High, IBM fellow, vice president, and CTO at IBM Watson. “Developers are inspiring us to advance the technology that is transforming society, and they are the reason why such a wide variety of businesses are bringing cognitive solutions to market.”

Founded in 2011 by computer scientist and the former head of Google’s “moonshot” Google X program, Sebastian Thrun, Udacity is no stranger to partnering with big tech companies that are looking to boost the talent pool in a particular field. Google, in particular, has been a long-time partner of Udacity, and the duo have launched programs covering Android fundamentals, cloud fundamentals, UX fundamentals, web performance, tech entrepreneurship, deep learning, and a new Android Basics Nanodegree.


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In the past couple of months, Udacity has teamed up with Google, HTC, and Upload for a new virtual reality (VR) Nanodegree program, while it tapped Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia, among others, to offer a new self-driving car Nanodegree.

With so many niches emerging across the technology spectrum, it’s clearer than ever that companies are looking to be proactive about boosting specific skillsets, and this is why IBM elected to collaborate with Udacity on building the curriculum. “With A.I. becoming more ubiquitous in the technology we use every day, developers need to continue to sharpen their cognitive computing skills,” High continued. “They are seeking ways to gain a competitive edge in a workforce that increasingly needs professionals who understand how to build A.I. solutions.”

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