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AI Education Programming

Stanford 'Intro To AI' Course Offered Free Online 148

An anonymous reader writes "IEEE Spectrum reports that Stanford's CS221 course 'Introduction to Artificial Intelligence' will be offered online for free. Anyone can sign up and take the course, along with several hundred Stanford undergrads. The instructors are Sebastian Thrun, known for his self-driving cars, and Peter Norvig, director of research at Google. Online students will actually have to do all the same work as the Stanford students. There will be at least 10 hours per week of studying, along with weekly graded homework assignments and midterm and final exams. The instructors, who will be available to answer questions, will issue a certificate for those who complete the course, along with a final grade that can be compared to the grades of the Stanford students. The course, which will last 10 weeks, starts on October 2nd, and online enrollment is now open." When asked how they would deal with ten thousand students, Professor Thrun replied: "We will use something akin to Google Moderator to make sure Peter and I answer the most pressing questions. Our hypothesis is that even in a class of 10,000, there will only be a fixed number of really interesting questions (like 15 per week). There exist tools to find them."
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Stanford 'Intro To AI' Course Offered Free Online

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04, 2011 @01:35PM (#36987976)

    about AI is a little too recursive for me...

    "When asked how they would deal with ten thousand students, Professor Thrun replied, 'We'll let Skynet handle the sorting and choose the best questions'"

  • by Zaphod The 42nd ( 1205578 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @01:48PM (#36988198)
    You're paying for the service, not just the knowledge. Having the professor / TA available for answering your questions, having other students around to study with, ask questions of, work on projects with, etc. College is about the environment. Stanford and other big name schools have begun putting their lectures on youtube available for free to anyone; not even requiring an account or that you sign up for a course. Did this send people to leave the college in droves and just watch the youtube videos? No. Because you still get the certification of a degree, which youtube doesn't give you (although that BS is meaning less and less these years). Some people don't need a teacher, they buy the books and don't go to college and teach themselves. And those people are already doing that. This helps spread some general knowledge, mostly intro 101 courses, but its not going to make you an established expert on a subject overnight. I don't think students will be upset at all.
  • by f()rK()_Bomb ( 612162 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @02:13PM (#36988518)
    Only because the american model runs colleges like a business. Over here in europe university is basically free. My fees this year are 1.5k. There is a benefit to universities though, you get to meet and interact with a lot of smart people. Abandoning universities entirely is not the way to go, reforming the broken model is.

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane