Published: 28th August 2019
These IIT Madras start-ups have designed deep learning and AI courses for just Rs 1k. Check it out
The course is specifically designed for the Indian market and will enable students to understand complicated concepts easily and solve AI problems
GUVI and One Fourth Labs, two start-ups incubated at Indian Institute of Technology Madras, have joined hands to attempt to create one lakh experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning by the year 2020. GUVI, which offers a platform for students in Tier 2,3 cities to learn in vernacular languages, is now collaborating with One Fourth Labs, a start-up founded by the IIT Madras faculty which offers advanced AI courses at nominal fees, starting at Rs 1,000.
"We have partnered with GUVI for their easy to use interface and we are teaching using very simple English. Our course will be twice or thrice longer than the regular courses available so that we get the chance to revisit the basics over and over again," said Dr Pratyush Kumar, Co-founder of One Fourth Labs, and a faculty of Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras. “We are not only trying to broaden the reach but also reducing the cost of education. In emerging areas such as AI where there is a large demand for courses, a majority of online education providers charge a huge fee, often running into lakhs of rupees. With the intention of addressing this, earlier this year we offered a hands-on course on Deep Learning at a fraction of the typical cost,” he added.
AI is one of the dominant technologies of this generation, which has helped machines reach human-level performance on specific tasks such as identifying faces, classifying images, playing complex strategy games, detecting anomalies in medical images and so on. There is a huge demand for AI talent in India, but the supply is limited due to a shortage of affordable courses which take students from basics to advanced topics.
The course offered by One Fourth Labs is specifically designed for the Indian market, which enables students to comprehend complicated concepts with relative ease and get skilled in solving AI problems. The prerequisites to learn this course have been designed to enable as many students in India to learn. It is open to every student who is strong in high school mathematics and Python programming who can now become an AI and Deep Learning expert using this course.
“Students can sign up at www.guvi.in to access this ‘Deep Learning’ course. IIT Madras Professors have created the course content in the platform. Coding contests will be conducted periodically with the top performers rewarded through the platform. Periodic Assessment will be conducted in GUVI platform to issue the certificates upon Course completion," said S P Balamurugan, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of GUVI. "The learning history of the individual will be maintained as part of his GUVI Profile which the users can share with the Employers. The platform is Gamified to keep the learners attentive and to ensure the learners complete the course,” he added.
The mission of GUVI is to take technology skills to all the deserving students. Demography should never be a barricade to acquire skills. Towards this, GUVI offers technology skills that are in-demand in the industry in regional languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali and Arabic besides English. "At a later stage, we would like to offer courses in the vernacular as well. This makes it easier for the student to grasp the subject but they need to have basic knowledge of English to interact within the industry," said Dr Kumar.
The course offered One Fourth Labs is priced at Rs 1,000 for students and faculty and Rs.5,000 for working professionals. It is a six-month completely online program divided into four stages comprising a total of 15 course. Participants will receive certificates at the end of every stage. "We do not have any intention of financial gain from this that is one reason why we could design the couses at such low cost. We have also not invested in advertising or marketing, that cuts down the cost drastically," added Dr Kumar.
“This first iteration of our course was a resounding success with extraordinary feedback from participants. Looking ahead, we want to take this course to a much larger audience while maintaining affordability," said Dr Mitesh Khapra, Co-founder of One Fourth Labs and also a faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras.