Course Spotlight

Inside General Assembly's Free Generative AI Course

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Liz Eggleston

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on May 7, 2024

Course Report strives to create the most trust-worthy content about coding bootcamps. Read more about Course Report’s Editorial Policy and How We Make Money.

We recently took General Assembly’s one-hour Intro to Generative AI course and found it to be an excellent way for beginners to grasp the fundamentals of Large Language Models like ChatGPT. Artificial intelligence can seem intimidating, but this free course was refreshingly accessible, requiring no background in tech or coding. Here's a glimpse into what we learned (and what we didn’t get to) in the Generative AI course. After this free intro course, the next step is General Assembly’s five-day AI workshop!

💸 Take $1,500 off your General Assembly Bootcamp! (Offer ends May 31st and the course needs to start before June 21st, 2024.)

What I Learned in the Gen AI Course

General Assembly says that the intention of the Generative AI course is to demystify the basics of generative AI, particularly Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT. This free course is focused on being accessible to all — no prior technical knowledge or coding skills are needed to participate! This made it ideal for a wide range of participants, from curious learners to professionals who are seeking to understand the impact of AI on their fields.

In just one-hour, this Gen AI lesson answered questions like:

  • What are Large Language Models?
  • What are the limitations of LLMs?
  • How are LLMs trained?
  • How can understanding bias in LLMs help combat the issue?
  • What are best practices for writing effective prompts?

Who are the instructors for this Gen AI course?

Re-grow founder and General Assembly instructor, Tom Szekeres, guided us through the material with support from Sarah who facilitated the Zoom chat interaction. Talking about large language models may not sound like the most exciting subject, but with his engaging and welcoming teaching style, Tom made LLMs engaging and realistic. In addition to covering the basics of LLMs, he also threw in personal insights on how generative AI is applicable to our lives. I also appreciated his humor in our class — it kept the material fresh and fun!

What is the teaching style like in the Gen AI course?

The course wasn’t just a lecture or recorded session; it was an interactive session! Being a free course, that surprised me. All of the participants were encouraged to use Zoom's chat functionality, adding to the collaborative classroom feel. Instead of just going through the slide deck, the instructor Tom made sure to show us real-time examples of AI tools like Be My Eyes.

One of the highlights of the class was a live demonstration. Tom used GPT-4 to write a nature poem and to create a bot that plans travel itineraries (very meta) and then planned a honeymoon to Japan! This not only showcased the practical utility of AI, but also its creative potential. We also took a quiz about prompts and their impact on bias in answers, showing how important critical thinking is in Prompt Engineering.

Tom saved ~15 minutes to attentively answer questions in a Q&A session at the end of class. Tom was so enthusiastic about our questions, he ran over the original end-time to answer them!

Who is General Assembly’s AI Course for?

The one-hour course is aimed at total beginners, and a solid intro for anyone who has little to no understanding of generative AI. My fellow participants joined from Australia, Ohio, Dallas, NYC, Uganda, and more. Some General Assembly alumni even joined. People joining were interested in learning about chatbots, ChatGPT, and even expressed their fears about how AI might change their jobs. 

The instructor made sure to welcome each person by name, which created an immediate sense of community, and encouraged collaboration and communication among the participants from the very beginning. The chat was always buzzing with responses, questions, and insights, adding depth to the learning experience.

Is the Generative AI Class at GA worth it?

Definitely! The class is free, so it’s definitely worth one hour of your time. And as with any educational experience, you’ll get more out of this class if you engage with your instructor and classmates.

The cons of this class? It’s only one-hour long, so don’t expect to get a certification or walk away as an expert in artificial intelligence.

Going Further: How to Learn More about AI at General Assembly

The Generative AI class was worth the hour I took out of my day, but it’s really just the first step. For anyone whose curiosity was piqued by this intro course, General Assembly now offers a five-day workshop on AI. The workshop meets three hours a day over the course of five days (15 hours total) so participants can dive deeper into this fascinating field and find ways to apply Generative AI into their workflows. It's clear that GA is not just about imparting knowledge; it's about building a community of learners and thinkers. 

In the two-day AI workshop, participants will:

  • Understand the outer and inner workings of what generative AI is and how it functions, along with how to leverage AI to your advantage.
  • Craft clear, concise, and effective prompts through core formatting and optimization principles.
  • Know when and how to effectively and efficiently utilize large language models (LLMs) to drive results and maximize productivity — everything from mastering data analysis and enhancing communications, to streamlining workflows and prioritizing tasks.
  • Successfully navigate ethical challenges in AI, ensuring your actions always align with responsible practices.

Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team, but General Assembly invited us to attend the free course.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

Also on Course Report

Get our FREE Ultimate Guide to Paying for a Bootcamp

By submitting this form, you agree to receive email marketing from Course Report.

Get Matched in Minutes

Just tell us who you are and what you’re searching for, we’ll handle the rest.

Match Me