Discover the AI black belts, a new initiative that will get the word out about AI, for both beginners as experts. Our CEO, Kevin, will also be trainer in the AI Mastery Program.
Recently, the Walloon government announced that it had taken on Digital Wallonia's current yearly budget (up to 875,000 euros) to finance the foundations of the strategy to position Wallonia in terms of AI. Within this Digital Wallonia 4 AI program, training and raising awareness are huge priorities.
One of the first beneficiaries of this budget in the context of Digital Wallonia could be AI Black Belt, a new entrepreneurial structure initiated by Roald Sieberath. The goal of AI Black Belt is to organize training and sensitization sessions in Brussels (in BeCentral) and in Wallonia. The first partners involved in this initiative on the Walloon side are the Technifutur Competence Centers in Liège and Technofutur TIC in Gosselies.
The kick-off of these training sessions and sensitization / familiarization sessions was given last Wednesday, May 8 at the Axisparc of Mont-Saint-Guibert. Kevin, our CEO, did a presentation on the matter.
As the name suggests, several "degrees" of mastery will be taught - just like the colorful belts taught in martial arts practices.
The courses offered will vary in format, duration and degree of specialization - from the "white belt" to the "black belt". They will also target different audiences - professionals, decision makers, developers, active people who want to reorient or enrich their profile.
The white belt corresponds to a basic knowledge of what artificial intelligence is and what it can achieve in a professional or daily context.
To do this, there will be free awareness sessions of two or three hours. The agenda of the sessions has yet to be determined but the first event was held Wednesday, May 8. A second will take place on May 14 in Brussels and will be in English.
"These sessions are for anyone interested in AI," says Olivier Matz, project manager at Technifutur. "This will enable professionals to discover how AI can be useful in their business, how a department can use it to improve its services, how to get started ... The purpose of these sessions "White belt" is to reach as many people as possible. "
Things get serious from the yellow and orange "degrees". Here we move from awareness to hands-on and practical training sessions.
The principle is an immediate deepdive into the world of AI and deep learning. Think: bootcamp coding for developers, quizzes and exercises for decision makers. "American experiences have confirmed that it is not necessary to go through a prerequisite of acquisition of mathematical skills to embark on deep learning developments and achievements," says Roald Sieberath. "We immediately dive into the code. It draws a parallel between the two possible approaches to learning music: start with music theory or discover the instrument directly."
"Let's climb the mountain together. By walking step by step, each step having a different size and depth to make the mountain accessible." -Roald Sieberath (AI Black Belt)
Roald says he was inspired by several initiatives including those of Grégory Renard (xBrain), John Rizzo (reverse class) or the late Java Black Belt. The practical and practical side is very important to him: "Trainers will highlight and build on as many concrete industrial cases as possible."
The yellow belt is for developers, already having a minimum of knowledge (in Python, in particular). The mastery of the prerequisites will be evaluated by means of questionnaires to be completed and tests to be carried out online.
The orange belt is aimed at managers, project managers, business managers and non-technical profiles. The goal is about the "what" and the "what to do".
These trainings (yellow and orange) will take four half days. This training cycle will pay off (even if a participation of the Walloon Region, under cover of the program Digital Wallonia, is not excluded - but still to be confirmed). These trainings, 2 days in total, will cost more than 1,200 euros. "A rate that is justified by the level of training and trainers, some coming from abroad and having many years of experience to their credit in AI."
"The yellow belt is about how. The orange belt, what and what to do. " -Olivier Matz (Technifutur)
Among these trainers, let's mention Gilles Louppe (professor in AI at the University), Yannis Chaouche (professor at the Machine Leaning Academy in Paris, who has organized training for L'Oréal), Kevin Françoisse (co-founder of Sagacify) Gregory Renard (head of Applied Artificial Intelligence at xBrain) or Gautier Krings (data scientist, co-founder of Jetpack.ai, guest lecturer at UCLouvain).
Then come the green belts, blue, brown and black belts, targetted to developers and whose precise expertise has yet to be finalized. These will have a longer duration (minimum ten days in "summer school" mode or according to a schedule compatible with professional activities) and they will start in 2020. They will involve having already been able to attain the yellow belt and will require pre-existing higher level expertise. "For example, own a master's degree in mathematics. The goal is not to acquire skills to develop small AI applications but rather to be able to design and deploy large projects, to immerse themselves in research and innovation in the field and thanks to AI ", underlines Olivier Matz.
Note that the training will be supplemented by online resources (courses, support, possibility to exchange with the community of learners - "exchange of knowledge, POC ...".
More info on the program via the AI Black Belt website.