To most of us, “artificial intelligence” means what is produced when a Hollywood star wears those little rimless glasses without any prescription lenses or that “blah blah blah” sound one hears on most Match dates. However, artificial intelligence is all around us in all kinds of other ways… it’s at work when a bank detects unusual activity on your credit card and calls to check on it with you… it’s in, of course, in all kinds of computerized toys… it helps determine how to invest in stocks (hm…!) and it’s the brains behind those “If you like this, you may like that” recommendation engines we see online (double hm…!).
Unfortunately, nobody has yet been able to catapult this technology to the point where it can synthesize the likes of Julie Newmar, but but this hasn’t stopped the public from taking a keen interest in it. This has been proven by the reaction to Stanford University’s posting of a free online worldwide class this October 10th through December 16th. The response has been unprecedented: as I write, 125,576 students have signed up for it. This is probably in part because the course is being taught by Peter Norvig, who co-authored the essential book on the subject: Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach and Sebastian Thrun, whose self-driving car was named one of the 50 best inventions of 2010 by Time Magazine.
You don’t have to be enrolled at Stanford to attend, and you won’t get Stanford grades or credit if you’re not, but you’ll still be ranked in comparison to the work of the others online and receive a “statement of accomplishment”.
So, if you’re one of the “nerd herd” out there and would like to be part of this huge event, it’s not too late. Go here to sign up!