Be Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals(AI-900) for FREE!

Background

A few months ago, I saw a LinkedIn post by Gwyneth Peña-Siguenza mentioning the “Free AZ-900 training and certification voucher once you complete it”. It caught my attention as I have wanted to invest in acquiring industry-recognized cloud certifications. After clicking on the link, I signed up for the upcoming Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day: Fundamentals (for AZ-900 certification) on 10th and 11th February 2022. I will talk more about the AZ-900 certification exam in my other post.

From there, I learnt that there are a few different virtual training days organized by Microsoft.

There are 3 main domains of Microsoft Virtual Training Day which are
1. Azure
2. Business Applications
3. Microsoft 365

For a full list of the upcoming Microsoft Virtual Training Days, please check the official website.

Since I would like to learn more about the AI and ML offerings by Microsoft Azure, I signed up for the Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day: AI Fundamentals (for AI-900 certification) on 15th February 2022. Thankfully it was an APAC-friendly session (7.00 am — 10.30 am) so I don’t have to stay up very late to attend the session.

What is covered during the Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day: AI Fundamentals

In my opinion, the AI Fundamentals virtual training day is one of the better resources to prepare for the AI-900 certification. You can register to join the virtual training day at no cost, however space is limited, so I recommend that you reserve your spot now!

You’ll explore these topics:

  • Get started with AI on Azure
  • Acquire basic knowledge of AI concepts and applications
  • Create no-code predictive models with Azure Machine Learning
  • Use conversational AI, natural language processing, and computer vision in Microsoft Azure

Training modules delivered in this one-day virtual training event will begin with an introduction to AI and go on to cover topics including using machine learning without writing code, the capabilities of computer vision, the components of natural language processing, and how to create a bot to utilize conversational AI. Here’s what you can expect:

Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day:
AI Fundamentals Outline

After completing this training, you will be able to:

  • Understand basic AI concepts and applications.
  • Create no-code predictive models with Azure Machine Learning.
  • Learn more about conversational AI, natural language processing, and computer vision in Azure.
  • Most interestingly is that you can take the Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals certification exam (AI-900) at no cost.

Check out this video if you would like to learn about using your training day exam discount.

About AI-900 Certification Exam

Let’s start with understanding the journey to Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals, an official roadmap by Microsoft:

The journey to Microsoft Certified Azure AI Fundamentals

As you can see from the journey outlined, it involves 3 steps :

  1. Assess if you are a good fit for the certification
  2. Learn and upskill with the recommended resources on the Microsoft Learn platform
  3. Schedule for the exam, and pass the exam to be a Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals.

Note: The exam price is based on the country in which the exam is proctored. Do check out the Exam AI-900: Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals for more details! (You will be able to attend the exam for free if you attend the virtual training day!)

This exam is an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of common ML and AI workloads and how to implement them on Azure.

This exam is intended for candidates with both technical and non-technical backgrounds. Data science and software engineering experience are not required; however, some general programming knowledge or experience would be beneficial.

Based on the information from the Microsoft Learn platform regarding AI-900, the exam is focused very much on introducing the knowledge in the domain of common AI and ML where there are 5 key elements of AI:

  • Machine learning — This is often the foundation for an AI system, and is the way we “teach” a computer model to make predictions and draw conclusions from data.
  • Anomaly detection — The capability to automatically detect errors or unusual activity in a system.
  • Computer vision — The capability of software to interpret the world visually through cameras, video, and images.
  • Natural language processing — The capability for a computer to interpret written or spoken language, and respond in kind.
  • Conversational AI — The capability of a software “agent” to participate in a conversation.

The skills measured (updated as of April 23, 2021) are outlined below:

  • Describe AI workloads and considerations (15–20%)
  • Describe fundamental principles of machine learning on Azure (30–35%)
  • Describe features of computer vision workloads on Azure (15–20%)
  • Describe features of Natural Language Processing (NLP) workloads on Azure (15–20%)
  • Describe features of conversational AI workloads on Azure (15–20%)

A few types of questions are asked as part of the exam:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Matching
  • Sentence completion

You can download the free sample questions to familiarize yourself with the exam.

Important Concepts that You Need to Know for AI-900 Certification

  1. AI Workloads and Considerations
  • Here’s a very nice diagram summarizing the key concepts for Azure AI fundamentals:
Source: Vritika Naik post on Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals AI-900: How to Prepare and Pass the Exam
  • You also need to understand the 6 principles of responsible AI — Fairness, Reliability and safety, Privacy and security, Inclusiveness, Transparency, and Accountability. Check more on each principle on Understand responsible AI learning module.

2. Machine Learning

  • Understand the Azure Machine Learning service where it provides the following feature and capability. Make sure you spend some time understanding the components in each of the features.
  • You need to understand what is anomaly detection — a machine learning-based technique that analyzes data over time and identifies unusual changes.
  • Use cases of classification, regression, and clustering
  • Metrics used for measuring classification, regression, and clustering machine learning model.
  • Know how to analyze the confusion matrix
  • Splitting data by rows for training and testing data
  • What is the features and label in Machine Learning?
  • To deploy the Azure Machine Learning model for production use, you need to deploy to Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) compute target.

3. Computer Vision workloads

  • Difference between Computer Vision, Custom Vision, Face Service, and Form Recognize.
  • For Computer Vision, understand the difference between Image Classification, Object Detection.
  • For Custom Vision, it is about training using your own image for image classification and object detection. You also need to know what are the information needed when deploying a custom vision model: prediction endpoint, project ID, model name, and prediction key.

4. Natural Language Processing (NLP) Workloads

  • Key phrase extraction, Entity recognition, Sentimental analysis, Speech Recognition, Speech Synthesis, Language Understanding (LUIS)
  • What are intents(intention or goal of the statement, for example, “turn on”, utterances(a statement that the user says, for example, “Please turn on the light”, and entities (the item, for example, “light”)

5. Conversational AI Workloads

  • What is QnA Maker and Aure Bot Service?
  • QnA Maker knowledge base can import from existing FAQ documents or web pages, imported from a pre-defined chit-chat data source, or entered and edited manually.

How Do I Prepare for the Exam?

There are already a lot of FREE resources on the internet that you can make good use of. It’s really easy to pass this exam with flying colors. It took me about full 48 hours to prepare for the exam. Below are some of the resources that I used to prepare for my exam:

Learning Resource:

  1. Microsoft Learn Platform for Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals — Personally I feel that this is a very great learning resource that you MUST GO THROUGH to solidify and organize your knowledge according to the exam format.

2. [YouTube Video] Azure AI Fundamentals Certification (AI-900) — Full Course to PASS the Exam — This is a YouTube video uploaded by freeCodeCamp.org (around 4 hours. It is actually a great course developed by Andrew Brown of ExamPro. The video covers lots of detailed concepts that you need to know to pass the exam!

3. [LinkedIn Learning] Exam Tips: Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals (AI-900) by Emilio Meira — This is a great course to prepare yourself in taking the Exam AI-900: Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals certification as it covers everything that you need to know to ace the exam!

FREE Practice Questions:

1. 200 Practice Questions For Azure AI-900 Fundamentals Exam — This is a great set of practice questions that are compiled by Bhargav Bachina that I read and practice these questions before my exam. It helps me to prepare for my exam quickly and I like that the exam questions are arranged in 5 different sections according to the skills measured.

2. [New] Azure AI-900 Real Exam Questions — How to Pass (AI-900) Azure AI Fundamentals Exam easily — This is a YouTube video uploaded by
T3P — Technology To The Point (around 41 minutes) where the video discusses the different types of questions that might be asked in the exam.

3. ExamTopics — 100+sample practice questions with appropriate answers and explanations.

Taking the Exam

You can take Microsoft certification exams with Pearson VUE:

  • in person at an Authorized Test Center, or
  • online in the comfort of your home or office while being monitored by an offsite proctor.

I chose the latter

Here are some of the things you will expect for the online exam while being monitored by an offsite proctor:

Before the Exam

  1. Perform a system test — Make sure to do the required system test and exam simulation before exam day. My personal take: It is advisable to use the same testing space, computer, and internet connection.
  2. Find your testing space — Find a quiet, distraction-free area in your home or office to take your exam. My personal take: Make sure that no one is with you during the exam, and no books, water bottles, pen,s and pencils on your table.
  3. Get your ID ready — Your ID must be valid and up to date. My personal take: I used my passport for verification. Make sure that while taking the photo of the passport, all 4 corners are in the frame.
Pay attention to the exam rules

On Exam Day

  1. STEP 1. Prepare your testing space — Clear your desk/workspace of unnecessary and prohibited items. Review our Exam rules / testing advice for specifics.
  2. STEP 2. Prepare your computer — Disconnect any additional monitors and be sure to close all other open applications. Don’t forget to perform the system test, too!
  3. STEP 3. Check-in for your exam — You can begin the check in process up to 30 minutes prior to your appointment. If your exam is at 11.00 pm, you can check in earliest at 10.30 pm. I would strongly encourage you to check in as soon as you can so that it gives some time for the offsite proctor to do the ID and testing space verification.

Reference: You can find these information on the PearsonVue’s online testing for Microsoft website.

Final Thoughts & Closing

Overall, it was a great first experience with the Microsoft Certification and an online examination via PearsonVue. Furthermore, going through the virtual training day and the learning materials to prepare for the AI-900 certification exam, I now have a fundamental grasp of the Microsoft Azure offerings in the AI and ML space.

If you are interested in upskilling yourself (with or without prior knowledge on AI/cloud), I strongly encourage you to take the advantage of this opportunity to become Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals for FREE!

It’s not really just about the certificate, it’s about what you will learn and how do you apply it to transform your career in solving real-life problems using cloud technologies!

Here’s my certificate and my badge!

Microsoft Certified Azure AI Fundamentals certificate issues by Microsoft
Microsoft Certified Azure AI Fundamentals Badge

This is just the beginning for the exciting journey ahead in the cloud and edge computing (something that I am also very passionate about). Looking forward to learning more!

That’s all for now! I hope you are inspired by my post. Follow me on Medium for more!

Do give me a clap on the post if you find it insightful!:)

Thank you and all the best!

Connect with me on LinkedIn: www.vincekok.com

References:

  1. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/ai-900
  2. https://vritika.medium.com/microsoft-azure-ai-fundamentals-ai-900-how-to-prepare-and-pass-the-exam-279f66a74a8c
  3. https://home.pearsonvue.com/Clients/Microsoft/Online-proctored.aspx

--

--

--

Community Evangelist, Maker, STEM AI Robotics advocate in EdTech. “Get Inspired, Make Great Things Happen!” Connect with me on LinkedIn: www.vincekok.com

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Wizard of Oz Prototype (chatbot)

Uneven AI landscape presents regulatory, geopolitical challenges and risk to humanity.

In-depth review of Power Virtual Agents & CRM Bot — Part 1 (Building a conversation)

AI is the future of real estate. But it’s not everything.

A High Level Introduction to Generative Adversarial Networks

Time to make a decision

Top Applications of Deep Learning

I got an Alexa and…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Vincent Kok

Vincent Kok

Community Evangelist, Maker, STEM AI Robotics advocate in EdTech. “Get Inspired, Make Great Things Happen!” Connect with me on LinkedIn: www.vincekok.com

More from Medium

Understanding XML

Python — NetCDF reading and writing example with plotting (with line-by-line code explanation for…

Dive deep into Amazon Connect reporting and metrics

Benefits of SAP HANA Data Volume Partitioning