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Despite its sudden ubiquity as a buzzword, generative AI is in its relative infancy as a technology. Keeping up to date on daily innovations is a challenge for any business or individual, regardless of your role. The results speak for themselves, however, as a recent study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Forrester Consulting revealed that Microsoft Azure AI customers have collectively enjoyed a 284 percent ROI over 3 years.
Whether you’re a business decision maker, a developer, a data scientist, or anything in-between, Microsoft is hard at work developing tools and resources to make your generative AI learning journey easy. New to the technology or looking for a way to expand your know-how? In this blog we’ll explore the fastest avenues for you to skill up on Azure’s AI capabilities, including learning paths on the fundamentals of generative AI, as well as developing generative AI solutions with Azure OpenAI Service. Read on to discover how generative AI can take your business to the next level.
A quick primer on generative AI
Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that can create new data, such as text, code, and images. Users enter written prompts—for example, to create a vibrantly colorful 3D octopus—and let the AI create something astonishing. The more detailed and specific your prompt, the better the results.
Organizations across sectors have been quick to explore the benefits of generative AI for a variety of business needs, such as generating synthetic data for machine learning, creating personalized content, and automating tasks:
- Financial Services: Generative AI is being used for fraud detection, risk assessment, and data analysis. Models can learn from large datasets to detect anomalies and unusual patterns that might indicate fraudulent behavior. (Watch this video to learn more about how Microsoft is enabling generative AI in financial services.)
- Healthcare: Generative AI is making significant strides with medical image analysis and drug discovery. Models are used to generate synthetic medical images that can aid in training diagnostic algorithms and testing medical imaging equipment. (Watch this video to learn more about how Microsoft is enabling generative AI in healthcare.)
- Manufacturing: Generative design tools use AI algorithms to explore and generate multiple design options based on specified parameters and constraints. These tools can be used to create more efficient, lightweight, and innovative designs for automotive parts, industrial machinery, and more. (Watch this video to learn more about how Microsoft is enabling generative AI in manufacturing.)
Where to start your generative AI journey
Microsoft’s commitment to deliver new generative AI innovations means businesses across sectors can now use the technology to solve a wider range of problems and improve their operations. At Microsoft Build 2023, we unveiled new Azure capabilities to empower organizations to achieve more with generative AI. Depending on your role, knowledge level, and business needs, understanding Azure’s generative AI capabilities can be critical to your success navigating this burgeoning technology.
New to generative AI, or Azure’s AI offerings? We have abundant resources that can help beginners learn fast, and our recently launched AI Skills Initiative is the perfect place to start. The AI Skills Initiative offers free online courses covering introductory concepts of AI and responsible AI frameworks.
Developed in collaboration with LinkedIn, it also offers a Professional Certificate on Generative AI, the first-ever in the e-learning market, to help you stay ahead of emerging skills gaps in the AI field. By providing access to digital learning events, resources, and a trainer toolkit for educators, the AI Skills Initiative can help businesses and individuals take advantage of AI technologies and thrive in the digital workplace.
There’s also our Azure AI Blog which publishes articles on the latest news and trends in AI, including generative AI. For example, you can read about five Microsoft partners using generative AI to enhance productivity, or discover 10 ways Azure OpenAI Service can use generative AI to transform your business. Use the Generative AI tag to find even more articles relevant to your interests.
You can also engage with Azure Community Support, an online forum for asking questions and connecting with Microsoft engineers and Azure community experts.
The nuts and bolts of generative AI
You’ve got your bearings now, with a good understanding of what generative AI is and how it can unlock new benefits for your business. The next step is to dive into our Fundamentals of Generative AI training module. Familiarity with Azure is needed, but by the time you’re done with this 40-minute course you’ll understand how large language models (LLMs) form the foundation of generative AI, what the term “copilot” means in relation to AI, and how to improve AI responses with prompt engineering.
Skilling up with Azure OpenAI Service
For developers or engineers looking to further explore the depth of Microsoft’s generative AI offerings, we have a comprehensive learning path called Develop Generative AI Solutions with Azure OpenAI Service. A powerful cloud-based platform that integrates OpenAI's advanced language capabilities into applications, Azure OpenAI Service enables natural and contextually relevant interactions with users.
These learning modules explore Azure OpenAI Service’s potential for human-like language generation and understanding to revolutionize customer interactions, content creation, and data insights. You’ll not only learn about OpenAI's powerful large language models like GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, but also how to use those models to generate and improve code.
This is capped with access to Azure AI Studio, a web-based environment where AI professionals can deploy, test, and manage LLMs that support generative AI app development on Azure. After completing the learning path, you’ll be ready to take our Designing and Implementing a Microsoft Azure AI Solution exam, which is a prerequisite to earning a Azure AI Engineer Associate certificate.
Get started unlocking the benefits of generative AI
With an ever-expanding, comprehensive roster of tools and resources powered by Azure, businesses of all sizes can employ generative AI to create new products and services and deliver better customer experiences. Generative AI can assist designers in iterating on product concepts, help writers produce first drafts of various written materials, and aid in graphic design tasks such as creating posters and editing videos.
Through learning paths, exams, and certifications, Microsoft is committed to helping businesses and developers get the most out of generative AI. Begin exploring our array of resources today to start unlocking limitless creativity and efficiency with generative AI:
- Fundamentals of Generative AI training
- Develop Generative AI Solutions with Azure OpenAI Service
- Designing and Implementing a Microsoft Azure AI Solution exam
- AI Skills Initiative
- Learn more and apply for access with Azure OpenAI Service
Learn more about Azure and uplevel your skilling at Microsoft Ignite, our premier event showcasing the latest AI innovation through live keynotes, breakout sessions, and expert workshops. Register now to attend online Nov. 15-16 and take part in our Ignite Cloud Skills Challenges, an interactive, gamified learning experience that helps participants skill on Microsoft cloud technologies while engaging in friendly competition with peers.