Amazon has announced it will make the same machine learning courses used to train its own engineers available to all developers for free through Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Amazon will offer over 30 self-service, self-paced digital courses, totaling more than 45 hours of courses, video, and labs that cover four key groups: developers, data scientists, data platform engineers, and business professionals.
Amazon says the courses start with the basics and then build up using real-world examples that Amazon Engineers have encountered themselves like ‘predicting gift wrapping eligibility, optimizing delivery routes, or predicting entertainment award nominations using data from IMDb (an Amazon subsidiary).’
For more experienced engineers, there are also advanced instruction courses.
AWS Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence technology enables the NFL to predict formations, play outcomes, routes, & key events in a game. https://t.co/A6kdLjMtPmpic.twitter.com/8DI2rfCq83— Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) September 7, 2018
Amazon opens up internal training to all
"Coursework helps consolidate best practices and demonstrates how to get started on a range of AWS machine learning services, including Amazon SageMaker, AWS DeepLens, Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly and Amazon Comprehend, “ Amazon said in the announcement.
Amazon says it makes sense for them to offer the courses after using machine learning for more than 20 years.
In addition to the free courses, machine learning engineers can complete the new “AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty” certification.
The exam will cost $300 USD but will the program is in Beta mode it is being offered for half price.
Amazon’s offer of the free courses might be seen as a sign of trying to regain some goodwill after employees in Europe went on strike on Black Friday demanding better working conditions.
Workers in Spain, Italy, Germany, and the UK went on strike on the massive sale day over pay and safety.
Amazon workers strike in Europe over working conditions
The company insists that the walkouts didn’t hamper any services. In Madrid, it was reported that 90 percent of the 1,800 workers held a strike causing Amazon to divert its orders to other neighboring depots.
GMB, a general trade union in the UK held protests at several warehouses calling out Amazon on the fact that ambulances were called to attend to incidents in Amazon fulfillment centers 600 times over the three years to May.
It’s not just in Europe that Amazon faces criticism over its working conditions. In United States, Amazon has repeatedly been under fire for poor working conditions and low wages for years.
The company recently tried to address that by increasing the minimum wage to $15 USD per hour, though many long-term workers reported that the pay increase only affected newly employed.