Stanford University
August 19, 2011

Stanford U Offers Free Classes

You can learn about Artificial Intelligence from the best, online.

Justin: How much would you pay to take a class at Stanford University to learn how to build a robot that could clean your house, or make pancakes? How about…zero dollars? This is the free and online version of introduction to artificial intelligence. You heard right. Free and online.

Stanford University Professors Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun are taking their intro to artficial intelligence course to the web. It is a pretty good deal considering just one year at Stanford could set you back more than 50,000 bucks.

“Teachers have always had this idea that they have knowledge and they can share it with as many people as they want and they don’t lose anything by sharing that. Rather, they gain by sharing.”

Justin: Now, don’t think these two are dumbing down their course for the web. The class moves at real-time speed. So you will have to know some high-end math, like linear algebra, just to keep up with the lessons.

Stanford doesn’t offer college credit for the course, but you will get a statement of accomplishment once you finish.

“If this model sticks, I could really see this really help spread education much farther than we’ve succeeded in the past.”

Justin: So far, the class is doing just that. More than 75,000 people from all over the world have already signed up. And once they finish, they can go back for more and try their hand at two more free online classes: intro to databases or machine learning.

The professors say the web classes are their way of making their mark.

“I’m constantly frustrated about how the world is, and I want to change it.”

“With computers connecting the world now more than ever, the most exciting part of this experiment is seeing what happens next.”

“We want to help the world and do what we can to educate people.”

Justin: Justin Finch, Channel One News.


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