Best Free AI Training Courses You Can Take in July 2024

Figure out the ethical tangles behind big data or build your IBM Watson chatbot with these free courses.

Artificial intelligence: The tech world has talked about it so much across the past three years that even your grandmother has likely heard of ChatGPT, and may be using it to craft a new chocolate chip cookie recipe as you read this.

Every industry is expanding into automation processing, both to boost their efficiency and as an excuse for cutting down on the number of employees on their payroll. What can you do about it? For many, the maxim about joining those you fail to beat might apply, with average employees across the country all looking for a free online course or five that can teach them what they need to know in order to use AI.

Here, we’ve rounded up the best online AI training courses available for the month of July.

Some of the courses below are for complete novices and some are for experts hoping to hone their skills even further. One thing they all have in common, though: You’ll be able to sign up, start, and finish any of them within just days or perhaps weeks, all without paying a dime.

AWS: Foundations of Prompt Engineering

Length: 4 hours

Amazon Web Services offers a fast four-hour course specifically for the average AI worker hoping to build their AI skills.

Titled “Foundations of Prompt Engineering,” this e-learning course takes a look at how users can create the best prompts — the term used for any instructive input that a generative text AI bot needs in order to create anything.

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You’ll learn how to craft one-shot prompts and advanced prompts, while also gaining an understanding of how to avoid “potential prompt misuses” and how to fight against the biases that can easily seep into AI results. Amazon has the full lesson plan available online, starting with the basics of how large language models (LLMs) operate and continuing on to more model-specific techniques.

This course is listed for “intermediate” level learners. If that’s too advanced, check out the next option below.

LinkedIn: What Is Generative AI?

Length: About 1 hour

LinkedIn is packed with free AI elearning courses, including a passel of 101-level explainers that can guide a complete newbie through the process of figuring out what Artificial Intelligence even is, what priciples guide the technology, and what practical applications to care about.

You can peruse the full suite of online lessons for yourself over here. One of the easiest and highest-quality options is a handy course of quick videos titled “What Is Generative AI?” It’s aimed at helping white collar workers understand how to communicate with text or image generating AIs like ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini.

This is the one to start with if you don’t know the first thing about AI. With north of 1.2 million views, it’s among LinkedIn’s most popular AI productivity courses.

You can take the course today by heading over to the LinkedIn website — you’ll need a LinkedIn Learning account, but the one-month free trial should be plenty of time.

LinkedIn: Applying Generative AI as a Business Professional

⏰ Length: 6 hours

Let’s be real: Most people looking up a free AI educational course already have a decent understanding of what today’s AI tools can do and at least a general sense of how they work. What these users need is a lesson in what specific areas AI can help them within the workplace.

For that, LinkedIn has six hours’ worth of answers. “Applying Generative AI as a Business Professional” does just what it says with its title, delivering methods of upping productivity for all workers, entry-level and up. You’ll “explore the uses of AI across various business functions,” from researching and writing to boosting communication skills by summarize and refining your own thoughts.

Check out the course now on the LinkedIn platform.

IBM: AI Applications With Watson

⏰ Length: 6-12 hours

IBM’s Watson has been making headlines since long before the AI boom — we covered four startups using Watson back in 2017. With this course, you’ll be introduced to “developing and deploying cognitive applications” built using the Watson technology specifically.

This one isn’t for beginners, as you’ll need some prerequisites: Basic knowledge of object-oriented programming, use of the command line, Node.js, and IBM Watson Assistant. The course itself only takes two to four hours per week across three weeks, so you can tackle it with one evening a week. Once completed, you’ll have a handle on how to program tools to build queries and extra data from large repositories.

This course is an example of the wealth of free knowledge online for those willing to step outside the low-code or no-code language barrier. Check it out here, or check out the wide range of IBM courses online to figure out plenty of other, equally specific chatbot programming skills.

UC Davis: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Ethics

⏰ Length: 12 hours

If directly configuring Watson is a little too technical, but you’re after an intermediate experience that can give you some depth and insight, consider the University of California, Davis and its course unpacking the ethical questions behind the data that powers AI.

What opportunities does big data open up? What limitations? What case studies depict AI and ethics? You’ll answer these questions, as well as use Natural Language Programming directly for your own analysis.

It’s all available on Coursera, so you’ll get a shareable certificate once the course is complete and you’ve powered through the five assessment quizzes to prove you know what you’re talking about. Check it out now: At 12 hours long, it should give you plenty of bang for your (free) buck.

Gearing Up to Tackle AI

AI technology may or may not prove to be the job killer that many CEOs are hoping will power their bottom line for years to come. They definitely need to work on addressing the immense amounts of electricity that the technology relies on, for one thing.

However, AI is one tool in the average person’s toolkit when it comes to speeding up their work, and many generative text options even offer a completely free version. Those who are looking to level up at work or are looking for a new position entirely can learn AI skills to get a foot in the door. The tech is already wreaking havoc with high school English papers nationwide, after all.

Previous guides on AI tips and best practices might prove useful, from our list of the best prompts to AI resume templates or free PDF analysis.

But whatever you do, please just don’t use ChatGPT to file legal briefs. Even the Supreme Court is against the concept.

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Written by:
Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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