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Discover what you'll learn from the course, the curriculum, who's the course for, the teaching style, and more.

3-day Zoom crash-course

Ten years ago, I was where you are now - an AI engineer eager to make an impact. But I quickly learned that mastery in AI isn't just about technical skills. Leadership, communication, and strategy are key aspects too. But nobody teaches you those. 

I've condensed a decade of my journey into The AI Leader's Blueprint to fast-track your transition from an AI engineer to an AI leader.

The course spans 10 hours divided into 6 sessions, over three days.

Course focus

The ultimate goal of the course is to equip you with the necessary insights and skills to become an AI leader.

The course is opinionated. You get 10+ years of my distilled experience building and leading AI teams downloaded into your brain, so you won't make the same mistakes I made.

You'll have direct interaction with me, giving you the opportunity to ask questions and delve deep into the subject matter. 

The focus of the course isn't technology - there are too many valid courses about that already, I published a few myself.

I teach you all of those other aspects that you will only learn in the trenches, hitting a wall 100 times.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first course that offers a structured and effective path to become an AI leader. For real.

I'll share with you all my strategies and insights, highlight the common pitfalls, and provide real-world examples of challenging situations I've encountered and solved as an AI team leader and consultant. 

Teaching style

My teaching style is direct and straight to the point. I’m an advocate of the no-BS policy.

I’ll tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly. Without filters.

Sessions alternate slide presentations with interactive group activities in breakout rooms, where you’ll have the opportunity to consolidate the topics we cover with your peers.

Sessions and learning objectives

The course covers six key areas in six sessions:

  1. Managing AI Projects End to End: Learn how to run AI projects from start to finish, with an emphasis on avoiding common mistakes and adhering to best practices.
  2. Building a Thriving AI Team: Learn how to form and nurture a successful AI team, focusing on effective recruitment, creating a collaborative atmosphere, and fostering continuous learning.
  3. Balancing R&D and Engineering with Agile: Discover how to maintain a balance between research, development, and engineering within an agile framework to keep AI projects innovative yet feasible.
  4. From AI Engineer to AI Leader:Discover how to evolve from an AI engineer to an AI leader, focusing on developing essential skills in leadership, technical proficiency, and effective communication.
  5. Developing Robust, Maintainable, and Scalable AI Systems: Get an introductory overview of MLOps, and learn how to design AI systems that are robust, maintainable, and scalable.
  6. Open Mic Mentorship: Engage in a participative mentorship session, where you can get feedback on your career and AI projects.

Why attending this course?

AI leaders are a rare breed. I've only met a handful in my 10+ year career.

The majority of AI people in leadership positions are not prepared to build and lead teams, or to plan and run R&D projects from ideation to deployment.

Most AI teams I've consulted never meet deadlines, struggle to deliver value, and have toxic environments. How's this possible? Because there's no AI leadership.

Given how rare they are, AI leaders are highly sought after by companies, and paid extremely well.

This course equips you to become such a leader, significantly enhancing the productivity and environment of your AI team and your ability to plan and execute AI projects.

The AI Leader's Blueprint makes you stand out from the crowd. It gives you the tools and pointers to better yourself as an AI leader, in a world where most AI people don't even know what they don't know.

Course schedule

The course will be on Zoom 27-29 February 2024. All times are in Central European Time (CET). There are two sessions per day:

  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024: 5:30 - 9:15 PM CET 
  • Managing AI Projects End to End: 5:30 - 7:30 PM CET
  • Building a Thriving AI Team: 7:45 - 9:15 PM CET
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2024: 5:30 - 8:45 PM CET
  • Balancing R&D and Engineering with Agile: 5:30 - 7:00 PM CET
  • From AI Engineer to AI Leader: 7:15 - 8:45 PM CET
  • Thursday, February 29, 2024: 5:30 - 8:15 PM CET
  • Developing Robust, Maintainable, and Scalable AI Systems: 5:30 - 7:00 PM CET (1.30)
  • Open Mic Mentorship: 7:15 - 8:15 PM CET

Important: I’ll send you calendar invites for all the sessions with a Zoom link a few days before the course starts. You'll find further instructions in this platform, once you buy the course.

Ready to embark on a journey to become an AI leader?

Who's your instructor?

Hi! I'm Valerio Velardo. I have over 10 years in leading AI / MLOps / R&D teams, consulting for AI companies, building AI products, and researching in (audio) AI.

I founded The Sound of AI, the largest music AI ecosystem, and have educated hundreds of thousands through The Sound of AI YouTube channel.

I’m the director of the first music AI startup accelerator. I founded a music AI company and led its R&D team.

My background combines AI, programming, and music, and I hold a PhD in music AI.

You can find more about me here:

Who's this course for?

The AI Leader's Blueprint is ideal for AI engineers, researchers, data scientists, data engineers, developers, founders, managers, and recent technical graduates.

Juniors, seniors, and tech leads can all benefit from the course.

Non-technical people (e.g., executives), with an interest in AI can also greatly benefit, as the wide majority of the course is non technical.

What previous students say about the course...

"I immensely enjoyed my participation in the first edition of the AI Leader's Blueprint. Valerio managed to cover a broad range of topics concerning the management and setup of AI projects in these six lessons, during which he openly shared his knowledge and experience. Personally, I liked the part about MLOps best as this knowledge could directly be applied to one of our ongoing projects."

Patrick Helfenstein, CTO at BreezeLabs

"As a data scientist seeking insights into leadership within the AI landscape, this course exceeded my expectations. Valerio, drawing from over a decade of leading AI teams, delivered invaluable insights. Here are the key highlights: Comprehensive Project Management: The course offered a clear understanding of AI project processes, avoiding common pitfalls, and emphasizing best practices, enhancing my project management skills significantly. Team Building and Development: Valerio's emphasis on fostering collaboration and continuous learning reshaped how I approach team dynamics, positively impacting productivity. Evolution to AI Leadership: Essential leadership skills, technical proficiency, and effective communication strategies learned have notably influenced my career growth. Overall, the course has been transformative, offering practical insights essential for any data scientist aspiring to evolve into a leadership role within the AI domain."

Nicolas Alberto Molina Cerón, Data Scientist

"I'm very thankful to Valerio and all the participants for the insightful and enjoyable course sessions. Valerio provided more than best practices and a distillation of his amazing experience; he offered a clear and comprehensive set of perspectives on creating AI products, clarifying the significance of each piece of advice and following no BS policy. Reflecting on the course, I tried to count how many mistakes I made in my career and I'm confident that this course will aid in preventing many more failures in the future."

Dmitry Lamanov, Lead ML engineer at Casperaki

"I recently had the privilege of completing the AI Leadership Blueprint course, by Dr. Valerio Velardo, founder of The Sound of AI. It was a transformative experience. Valerio’s passion for mentoring people shone through every aspect of the course. His expertise, stemming from a background as a classical musician, programmer, scientist, and a PhD in AI music, added to the learning experience. The course covered the end-to-end management of AI projects, balancing the nuances of R&D and engineering with agile methodologies. It gave me invaluable insights into building a thriving AI team and strategies on how to develop robust, maintainable, and scalable AI systems. Valerios’s approach made the content not only informative but also accessible and engaging. As someone with a background in the media industry, having worked at NPR and later National Geographic and the White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship program where I helped nurture AI projects, I am inspired to take these learnings forward in my current startup TulipAI. This course is a must for anyone aspiring to excel in AI leadership, and I highly recommend it."

Davar Ardalan, Founder of TulipAI

“The amount of knowledge shared in this course is impressive. You get an entire overview on how to manage projects within the AI space and you get a lot of insights into how to successfully bring it over the finish line. In just 3 days you get material that will last you a lifetime, and it will not only change the way you look at projects and work, but it will also transform your view of personal interactions, giving you the tools to become a better and more compassionate person, and therefore a more effective Leader."

Lorenzo Salvadori, Audio Programmer at Pole Position Production

"Valerio Valardo’s ‘The AI Leader’s Blueprint’ course was truly invaluable. Valerio’s expertise and empathetic approach made complex concepts accessible, ensuring a direct, no-nonsense learning experience. His ability to pinpoint essential insights, combined with real-world examples, provided a solid foundation for becoming an effective AI leader. The interactive sessions were particularly enriching, allowing me to learn from not only Valerio but also other talented peers. This course is a game-changer for anyone looking to excel in AI leadership."

Marco Accardi, Media Artist/Software Engineer

"The course is excellent, covering themes from process to people and how to manage AI projects. I particularly found the part on how to build AI teams and skill sets within the team very useful. It was a truly well-rounded course, taught with experience and real-life examples, that helped me think about curve balls and how to deal with them when building my team."

Paulo Petersen, Lead Data Scientist at DISCO

"I want to express my immense appreciation for the AI Leader’s Blueprint course. The atmosphere was friendly and interactive, especially breakout rooms. If you want to get 10 years of experience in AI in one course, I recommend this course. BTW, this course advocates for a No BS Policy."

Mahmoud Mohajer, AI Freelancer

"I loved the course, it’s well laid out and structured nicely. If you are a researcher or engineer in the AI field who wants to dig deep into organising projects, understanding why projects fail, learn ML ops, create thriving teams and what makes a good leader in the field, this is for you."

Maarten Tamminga, AI Engineer/Audio Developer"

“I recently completed the 'AI Leader’s Blueprint' course, and it significantly transformed my approach as a software engineer and team leader new to AI. The emphasis on real use cases will prevent common pitfalls even before the project starts. Interacting with different people, the learning material, and Valerio’s excellent communication skills added immense value to my learning process. I recommend this course for anyone aspiring to lead AI projects effectively, offering practical tools and strategies for success.”

Agustín Gómez, Software developer/Team leader.

"This course is very useful to identify missing parts and weak points that you should work on if you want to become a successful AI leader. Moreover, it helps to establish a clear path on how to improve those points regardless if it is related to technical or soft skills."

Philip Tovstogan, ML Engineer

"This course is excellent if you want to become an AI team leader or if you want to build an AI project. Valerio digs deep into the skills and knowledge needed for this role, as well as its challenges, responsibilities and benefits. His insights have been super helpful to better understand the role and to be prepared for my next AI endeavors. I really appreciated how down to earth he is and the little chunks of humor injected into the course."

Sergi Pastor, Software Engineer/Data Scientist

Recordings and learning material

This course will be conducted synchronously online via Zoom. If you're unable to attend, you can watch the recorded lectures asynchronously.

After the course, I’ll share the recordings and learning material via email. Recordings will be uploaded as unlisted videos in The Sound of AI YouTube channel.

Alumni community

Students who successfully complete the course get a certificate.

They also join the alumni community, where they can interact with like-minded people and grow together in their quest to become AI leaders.

What you'll get buying this course

  • 10 hours of sessions
  • Group mentorship with Valerio
  • Join the alumni community
  • Session recordings
  • Slides + growth plan template
  • Completion certificate

Ready to embark on a journey to become an AI leader?