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FREE On-line AI Course Attracts More Than 135,000 Students

Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, Stanford professors, are two of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence. Now, they are taking on a new venture.

Starting in October, they will offer the on-line class "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence" for free. So what makes this unusual?

First, registration currently has been halted because more than 135,000 people (high school to retired) have enrolled in the course. That is right...more than 135,000 prople from more than 175 countries!

Second, anyone enrolled can participate fully in the course... but will not receive a grade (via a Stanford transcript). Rather, non-Stanford students will be sent a statement of accomplishment, documenting one's performance compared to other online students. Talk about competition...you could end up being 1000th in the course and still be at the top!

Other unusual things about the course:

  • The course will be based on Stanford's introductory Artificial Intelligence course, including its text, assignments, and exams
  • Students can submit questions during the course; top-ranked questions (via on-line vote) will be answered by the two professors
  • Using special AI software constructed by one of the professors, students will respond to exercises at their own pace, with feedback both correcting and suggesting further review...plus all quizzes and exams are on-line (a special fearture prevents cheating)
  • Suggested background is some higher math such as linear algebra and probability theory
  • A small "intro" taste can be found on YouTube via Sebastian Thrun, one of the course professors, along with a video overview of the syllabus
So, think about signing up...if enrollment re-opens. I am....if not to learn more about AI but to also see how the course operates...or how one handles a course involving that many students.