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August 17, 2011 AT 11:16 am

70,000+ People Signed Up for Stanford AI Course

Last week we posted about the AI class at Stanford that was allowing open enrollment on the web. It was free, and you could watch the lectures online and then submit your work to be graded. Turns out a lot of people thought this would be great fun, because over 70,000 have signed up for the course. From SciAm:

Stanford University has opened up to the public an introductory artificial intelligence class, taught by two luminaries in the field. Anyone with high-speed Internet, anywhere in the world, can enroll in the online course.

Just don’t expect a lot of face time with the professors. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 70,000 people had signed up to receive registration information for the AI course, which runs from October until December. Participants will be allowed to register in late summer, according to the course Web site.

The course will feature video lectures, online quizzes, automatically graded homework assignments, and the chance to ask questions via an online aggregator that will route the top-ranked submissions to the instructors.

Thrun and Norvig told The New York Times that they had been inspired by the example of the Khan Academy, a series of video lessons on math, science and finance delivered via YouTube. “The vision is: change the world by bringing education to places that can’t be reached today,” Thrun told the Times.

I can see this as good news and bad news. The bad news is that some folks may find their questions buried in the natural cacophony of 70,000. The good news is that, in the not-so-distant future, we can look forward to all kinds of cool AI hacks as people apply what they’ve learned.


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