Innovation

Facebook and Udacity want to give you a scholarship to master machine learning

Scholarship recipients will learn the deep learning framework PyTorch for AI research.

Interested in a job in artificial intelligence (AI)? Facebook may be willing to foot the bill. On Tuesday, Facebook and Udacity announced the PyTorch Scholarship Challenge, offering students the opportunity to learn how to build, train, and deploy deep learning models.

PyTorch is an open source deep learning framework that is growing in popularity among AI researchers due to its ease of use, clean Pythonic API, and flexibility, Stuart Frye, Udacity's vice president of partnerships, wrote in a Tuesday blog post. With PyTorch 1.0, now available in preview release, developers can more easily move from exploration to product development with a single unified framework, Frye wrote.

The scholarship program will offer students the chance to learn in-demand deep learning skills with PyTorch, as well as earn a full scholarship to Udacity's Deep Learning Nanodegree program, according to the post.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

The PyTorch Scholarship Challenge is set up in two phases. Phase one involves students taking a new two-month Udacity Challenge Course called Introduction to Deep Learning with PyTorch, taught by PyTorch creator and Facebook AI research engineer Soumith Chintala. The course will teach 10,000 students the basics of deep learning, and how to build deep neural networks using PyTorch.

After completing this first course, the top 300 students will go on to earn full scholarships to Udacity's Deep Learning Nanodegree program, the post noted. In this program, students will learn about topics such as convolutional and recurrent neural networks, generative adversarial networks, deployment, and more.

AI skills are among the most in-demand in the tech ecosystem: Between June 2015 and June 2018, the number of job postings with "AI" or "machine learning" increased by nearly 100%, according to a report from job search site Indeed. The percentage of searches for these terms on Indeed also increased by 182%, the report found. Many jobs in the field pay more than $100,000 per year, according to Indeed, and program like this could help fill some of these employment gaps.

Interested participants must have intermediate Python programming experience, as well as knowledge of linear algebra. You can sign up for the PyTorch Scholarship Challenge here.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • On Tuesday, Facebook and Udacity announced the PyTorch Scholarship Challenge, offering students the opportunity to learn to build, train, and deploy deep learning models.
  • AI skills are in demand in the tech field, and the scholarship program could help fill talent gaps.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/monsitj

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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