Duco Digital Training has launched two unique online courses in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to bridge the digital skills gap and allow businesses to take a competitive advantage of this rapidly developing technology.

The company, based in Redcar, Teesside – a spin-off of digital marketing and training specialists Duco Digital – is the first in the UK to offer the entry-level courses online accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT.

It currently offers the industry recognised BCS Essentials Certificate and BCS Foundation levels in AI, with plans to introduce more advanced courses in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and Blockchain.

Darren Winter, director of Duco Digital Training, expects the courses will contribute to helping the UK bridge the digital skills gap, at a time when it is predicted the worldwide market for AI solutions will be worth more than £30bn by 2024 - boosting productivity by up to 30 percent in some industries, and generating savings of up to 25 percent. Another estimate concludes that AI could generate up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030.

The current courses provide a basic understanding of the concept, its possibilities and complexities, technical jargon, and ethics, together with the practicalities of developing a live application.

Darren said: “These courses are aimed at businesses wishing to upskill their workforce or project managers and directors looking to diversify into the digital sector which will be the economy’s driving force in the future.

“It’s also a perfect opportunity for those considering a career change, undertaking research or for students of computing-related degrees.”

AI and Machine Learning is already developing at a fast pace and is transforming the way we both live and work – changing business practices across a range of sectors including finance, manufacturing, transport, accounting, and medicine.

Darren said that while there are long-held concerns that AI could reduce employment levels, he said it created significant social and economic benefits by expanding job opportunities - allowing humans to work smarter and businesses to exceed their capabilities.

He added: “Duco Digital Training has launched these courses as it recognises the need for this country to take the lead on AI and be at the forefront of its development. To do this, we must first have a basic understanding of a technology that will transform the UK’s future economy through the creation of new and exciting opportunities for business.”

As well as the ease and simplicity of accessing the courses from anywhere on the planet, the exam process is also carried out online, saving students the expense and inconvenience of having to travel to a test centre. Exam costs are included in the fee and those successfully completing the course will also receive a free one-year BCS associate membership (normally £90) along with the industry-recognised AI certification.