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AI-100: Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solution — Study Guide

Shakespeare wrote King of Lear while in quarantine. Newton laid the foundations for his laws of motion while in quarantine. People are making funny memes while in quarantine.

What can you do? You could enhance your skills in Data Science, get certified in multiple areas and establish credibility that helps your career when this pandemic is over. This month, I cleared my first Microsoft Azure certification AI-100 and decided to share some relevant tips (basis my experience and research) on the What, Why, and How of the AI-100 exam.

What? For the uninitiated, the AI-100 exam is a Microsoft Azure certification that measures your ability to accomplish the following technical tasks: analyse solution requirements, design solutions, integrate AI models into solutions, and deploy & manage solutions. The exam comprises 62 questions and a candidate has 220 minutes to solve them. This time slot also includes 20–30 minutes for reading the instructions. It’s best to break it down the areas of focus into weight-ages in order to guide your preparation in the right direction. The percentages next to each objective area represent the number of questions that you will find in that area on the exam: > Analyze solution requirements (25–30%): > Design AI solutions (40–45%) > Implement and monitor AI solutions (25–30%)

To understand the breakdown better and find objective wise resources, click here. I think Mario Mendieta has done a phenomenal job of compiling relevant resources based on the exact outline of the exam.

Why? You can benefit from this certification if you’re a Cloud Solution Architect, Azure artificial intelligence designer, or an AI developer. Given the rapid adoption of AI and its impact on long-term and sustained financial growth, a plethora of career opportunities will open up in the area. No conversation around technology today is complete without a reference to artificial intelligence. While the term has been around for a while, its application across industries has only picked up in recent times: from mining to healthcare, education and finance, among others, AI is changing the way we live, both at work and at home. And as mentioned in the Microsoft Ignite event by one of our data scientists “AI-100 is a great exam to have on your resume given the interest in AI and tools and functionalities that are planned in this space in the coming years.” So, if you’re thinking about learning more about / immersing into the AI world, this certification is a great way to start.

How? When you input “AI-100 Exam” on the internet, a number of articles, testimonials, resources and explanations (not always relevant) open up. For someone who’s new to tech, AI and all things in between — this can be rather overwhelming. So, here’s a condense (if not quick) fix to the certification. I depended on the following three pointers to crack the AI-100 examination:

A. Your Bible — AI-100 LEARNING PATH The learning path to AI-100 is broadly divided into 4 modules based on the 4 areas of assessment mentioned above. In layman terms, you need to gain expertise in each skill set (and thoroughly so) in order to become certified. Good news? You can focus all your energy at learning these four modules, start to finish. Resource found here.Evaluate text with Azure Cognitive Language ServicesProcess and translate speech with Azure Cognitive Speech ServicesCreate Intelligent Bots with the Azure Bot ServiceProcess and classify images with the Azure Cognitive Vision Services

B. If you learn better via VIDEOS (I know I do), check out the following resources. You can thank me later.

1. Exam Prep | AI-100: Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solution | BRK3197

Compiled and presented by Glen Morris, Data Scientist and Regional Lead at Microsoft the Microsoft Flagship, Ignite event, this was helpful for many colleagues, including myself. Why I like this one particularly — it’s not lengthy, cuts right to the chase and let’s you absorb as much information as possible in a short span of time. It successfully breaks down the Objective Domains of the AI-100 Exam and gives plenty of information supporting those Objective Domains.

2. The ML + AI Playlist (Optional) While I have your attention, I’d like to recommend watching this playlist from Ignite sessions as well. It comprises around 200 videos (you don’t have to watch all), each around 40 minutes long. These videos are an excellent way to understand real-life applications of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. For example: designing products for real people (not the ones we see in ads) who face challenges, who squint when they read, who fumble with TV remotes, who’re baffled by technology, who can’t hear you, who’re getting older. Studies are now putting people with accessibility needs as the majority and learning how to design products for them? That’s where our head needs to be. This playlist may not be directly relevant to the AI-100 exam but it has personally helped me gain a holistic approach to AI and ML.

C. Practise Practise, Practise Like any other competitive examination, this one has a few mock tests you can practise with before finally appearing for the exam. While this is basic sense, it’s best to be reminded — being placed in the same situation and feeling the same amount of pressure before the actual exam inculcates confidence and self-analytical capacity.

I took MeasureUp’s exams for practice. These practice tests are reputed for their innovative use of simulation question types, comprehensive explanations, 360 degree coverage of exam objectives, multiple delivery modes, and in-depth reporting.

These tests are designed to give you an accurate estimation of your readiness to appear for the final exam. Not just that, they guide you on which skills need improvement and which ones you’re doing fine on.

Final Words Of Advice

Confidence is key.

Feel confident about your preparation and then book a date for the exame — not the other way around. I think I speak for all of us when I say, the only good thing about this pandemic is that it’s letting all of us take our own sweet time. Point your study schedule towards feeling prepared, not towards a deadline. Don’t get hassled and trust your instincts. This is the AI-100 exam. Good luck, keep learning and stay tuned for more on what I’m upto during quarantine.

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