Andrew Ng, a computer scientist who led Google’s AI division, Google Brain, and formerly served as vice president and chief scientist at Baidu, is a veritable celebrity in the artificial intelligence (AI) industry, has launched ‘AI for Everyone,’ a new Coursera course aimed at business professionals.
After leaving Baidu, he debuted an online curriculum of classes centered around machine learning — Deeplearning.ai — and soon after launched Landing.ai, a startup with the goal of “revitalizing manufacturing through AI.” (One of its first partners was Taiwanese company Foxconn, which produces the bulk of Apple’s iPhones.) Ng was the keynote speaker at the AI Frontiers Conference in November 2017, and this year unveiled the AI Fund, a $175 million incubator that backs small teams of experts looking to solve key problems using machine learning.
Oh, and he’s also chairman of AI cognitive behavioral therapy startup Woebot; sits on the board of driverless car company Drive.ai; and wrote a guide to AI (“Machine Learning Yearning”) which he distributed for free. Yet somehow, he found time to put together a new online training course — “AI for Everyone” — that seeks to demystify AI for business executives.
Ng has always had a passion for education. At Stanford, where he previously served as director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, he started the Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE), a compendium of freely available online courses. It served as the foundation for Coursera, an online learning platform Ng cofounded with Daphne Koller in 2012. As of June 2018, Coursera had more than 33 million registered users enrolled in more than 2,400 courses.
Ng’s new course is available through Coursera (appropriately) for $49 per month, and launches in early 2019. And while it’s open to anyone, it’s principally geared toward business professionals who want to “better understand AI” and how it can impact their business — that is to say, executives interested in learning to select AI projects that’ll yield a return.
“AI is affecting every industry, and it’s important for people in all of these different roles to understand enough about AI to know how to navigate their businesses,” Ng told VentureBeat in a phone interview. “This course is for a non-technical audience, and I hope [it’ll] teach every one of the folks in our … audience how to navigate AI both for their industries as well as for their own careers.”
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