September 28, 2021

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Adobe invests in online training to extend AI and machine learning knowledge

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Adobe brings AI to creativity, data, and business

Adobe is a technology leader focused on changing the world through digital experiences. From transforming how digital documents are managed with Adobe Document Cloud to its industry-leading creative apps in Adobe Creative Cloud and groundbreaking customer experience management solutions for businesses in Adobe Experience Cloud, the company has changed how digital experiences are created, optimized, and delivered.

Adobe Sensei, the artificial intelligence and machine learning technology developed by Adobe, drives hundreds of innovative capabilities across its products to amplify (not replace) human creativity and intelligence by eliminating time-consuming and redundant tasks. Examples of AI-powered capabilities in Adobe tools include automatically cropping videos to match aspect ratios while keeping important subjects in frame, streamlining digital form-based processes, and enabling companies to deliver personalized content and recommendations to customers.

“Adobe has a world-class research team, and we use our AI research to deliver the cutting-edge capabilities our customers need to create and deliver digital experiences that stand out,” says Tim Converse, Senior Director of Applied Machine Learning at Adobe. “Given the importance of AI today, it’s vital that our engineers understand how to bring AI into applications and build capabilities that give our customers and us a competitive edge.”

With engineering talent in high demand throughout the technology sector, Adobe decided to focus on empowering its existing workforce with additional AI and ML training opportunities. 

Coursera helps Adobe expand AI and ML education to thousands

With thousands of engineers worldwide, Adobe wanted a scalable, online learning platform that provided the in-depth AI and ML knowledge that engineers need. After looking at numerous platforms, Adobe adopted Coursera.

“Coursera offers much deeper learning content compared to competing providers, while making learning accessible and affordable,” says Danielle Clark, Senior Director of Talent Development at Adobe. “We were also very impressed by the service and support we received from the Coursera team. When we approached Coursera about how we could adjust curriculum to better fit our needs, they worked with us to find the best courses.”

Adobe initially selected courses emphasizing the math and theory behind AI. After receiving feedback from learners, Adobe decided to shift to curriculum based on more practical coding and project-based learning. This approach better engaged the Adobe engineers, who wanted more hands-on learning and experimentation.

“Coursera’s flexible, responsive approach to curriculum is a huge benefit for us,” says Converse. “We now offer engineers six courses in four modules. We’ve seen strong interest from engineers participating in courses.”


– High-quality AI and ML education with a focus on practical applications
– Flexible, online coursework that has empowered many engineers to grow their AI and ML knowledge
– Online learning platforms support a culture of learning and development that helps to attract and retain employees

Adobe engineers contribute to product design with AI and ML

Coursera courses are entirely optional for Adobe engineers, and as a result, participants must be highly self-motivated. According to feedback, many engineers were excited about the course content and the challenges it presented, which further motivated learning. On average, learners spent 131 hours completing Coursera courses since Adobe launched its program. 

Some Adobe engineers learning on Coursera have already had their AI ideas incorporated into product development—a clear demonstration that the focus on skill has a direct impact on Adobe applications. Additionally, 68% said the courses improved their knowledge and comfort with AI and ML, and half of the participants have used their understanding to bring new ideas to projects.

“With a greater understanding of what AI can do through Coursera coursework, engineers can think of new ways to incorporate Adobe’s AI and machine learning technology into applications and bring new features to customers faster,” says Converse.

Adobe cultivates a culture of learning

Adobe continues to look at ways to expand and reinforce learning through Coursera, particularly as online learning gains steam as an effective, scalable way to reach Adobe employees worldwide.

“Adobe places a strong focus on career development and learning for all employees,” explains Clark. “Managers will work with employees to rearrange their duties and help them carve out time to focus on education. Training like this allows us to attract, develop, and retain the top talent that helps Adobe maintain its reputation as a technology leader.”

IMPACT, according to Adobe:

68% of engineers who have completed Coursera coursework have significantly improved their knowledge of AI and machine learning (ML) 
50% have used their AI and ML learning to bring new ideas to projects
Hundreds of engineers have applied their knowledge towards active product development

Read the full case study here.


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