Recently I decided to go for the AI-100 Azure AI Microsoft certification, I stumbled upon this certificate while researching the AI-100 Certification. This certification is designed to go over the fundamentals of machine learning and artificial intelligence in Azure. AI-900 doesn’t seem to be discussed much online but I decided I was going to get AI-900 as practice for the more difficult AI-100 exam. I set myself a personal time limit of two weeks to prep for the exam as I was familiar with the Azure AI suite of products, but you may want to go for a longer timeframe.
What does the Exam Consist of?
According to Microsoft the exam consists of the following sections
Describe AI workloads and considerations (15-20%)
This section consists of Identifying the Azure service that should be used for an example workflow, you can master this easily by going through the Microsoft Learn course and keeping notes of what each Azure service does.
Describe fundamental principles of machine learning on Azure (30-35%)
For this section you will need to be able to classify different machine learning scenarios that require either regression, classification, or clustering. You will also need to understand the difference between features and labels, training and validation datasets, algorithms used in Azure ML, and how to interpret model evaluation metrics returned in Azure ML. Some other topics you will need to understand are how to ingest data, prepare data, complete feature selections, feature engineering, train, evaluate models, and deploy and consume models in the Azure ML Studio. Also, you will need to be able to explain Automated ML in Azure ML Studio.
Describe features of computer vision workloads on Azure (15-20%)
To pass this section you will need to be able to describe the use cases for Azure Computer Vision and determine the computer vision solution needed such as image classification, object detection, semantic segmentation. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and facial recognition. The Exam also requires you to understand the difference between Computer Vision, Custom Vision, Face, and the Form Recognizer service.
Describe features of Natural Language Processing (NLP) workloads on Azure (15-20%)
For this section to achieve a pass you need to be able to identify the workloads needed for different NLP scenarios. These include key phrase extraction, entity recognition, sentiment analysis, language modelling, translation, speech recognition, and speech synthesis. Other requirements are being able to understand each service (Text Analytics, LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligence Service, Speech, and Text Translator Service).
Describe features of conversational AI workloads on Azure (15-20%)
This section is about the conversational AI services that Azure offers, these include QnA Maker and the Bot Framework. You will need to know how the services work and use cases for each of the services such as a web chat bot or voice assistant.
Resources I used to Learn
There doesn't seem to be many resources online for the Azure AI-900 exam but the Microsoft Learn path (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/ai-900) is great and covers almost everything you will need to learn for the exam. Other than that, I would recommend signing up for the free Azure Trial or Azure for Student (Check out this blog for more details) and playing around with all the services to get experienced with them. There are some other resources such as this one that goes over the exam in a lot of detail (https://stanislas.io/2020/07/01/preparation-guide-for-ai-900-microsoft-azure-ai-fundamentals-certification/).
My Experience of the Exam
I took the Exam online due to the current situation and thus had to use a laptop that had a webcam so the proctor would be able to monitor me. The process is simple enough, you follow the prompts, install the proctor software, and go through the verification process. Once I completed the verification the proctor released the exam, I noticed it consisted of mostly multiple-choice questions with a few drag and drop and finish the sentence questions thrown in too. I found the questions easy to understand and I completed the test within 15 minutes of starting. Once I submitted my results, I got the score of 936/1000 which I was pleased with.
Overall, I think the AI-900 Exam is pretty basic but if you can get it for a discounted price it becomes a good starting block on your journey to achieving the more useful Azure AI-100 certification. By completing the Microsoft Learn course and just playing around with the services while taking notes you should be able to pass with ease.