Andrew Ng, one of the top minds in deep learning, loves teaching. And so, the Stanford University professor decided to re-energize the study of AI with the August 8 launch of Deeplearning.ai, a specialized deep learning educational project he has been developing since he left Chinese search engine giant Baidu in March.
Deeplearning.ai is a sequence of five deep learning courses dedicated to disseminating AI knowledge, and will be hosted on Coursera, the world’s top online educational platform, which Ng co-founded in 2012.
Three courses started today, and an two additional will be added in the coming weeks. The courses consist of video lectures, premium exercises, and multiple choice quizzes.
In an exclusive launch-day interview, Ng told Synced that AI will transform every industry, with an impact no less than that of electricity more than 100 years ago. But he stressed that “even companies like Baidu and Google, which have amazing AI teams, cannot do all the work needed to get us to an AI-powered society. I thought the best way to get us there would be creating courses to welcome more people to deep learning.”
Deeplearning.ai is different from Ng’s original Machine Learning class, which has attracted over 1.8 million online students since 2011. The new project is designed for deep learning specialization: students will learn the foundations of deep learning, how to build neural networks, and how to lead machine learning projects. The project includes the most advanced deep learning models such as Convolutional networks, RNNs, LSTM, Adam, Dropout, BatchNorm, and Xavier/He initialization; and covers application scenarios including healthcare, autonomous driving, sign language reading, music generation, and natural language processing.
Python is the main programming language, while TensorFlow is the main software platform. Two teaching assistants from Stanford University — Kian Katanforoosh and Younes Mourr — are helping with the curriculum. Students can receive a Deep Learning Specialization Certificate by successfully completing all the courses and quizzes.
(left to right) Andrew Ng, Kian Katanforoosh, Younes Mourr
Back on June 22, when Ng announced his plan to build a company serving human’s interest in AI, he released little information — just a logo, a domain name and a tweet about an August launch date. The actual form and content of Deeplearning.ai remained shrouded in secrecy while speculation ran rampant — given Ng’s expertise in software design and education.
Deeplearning.ai was not an one-day decision. Over the last few years, Ng had been repeatedly asked to teach deep learning courses at Coursera. But he never had time to do so until he left Baidu. Ng told Synced that he began formulating this new project sometime in May.
Although Coursera is currently Deeplearning.ai’s only platform, Ng plans to broaden its accessibility. The former Baidu chief scientist has been meeting with several parties in China regarding potential collaboration. “One of the things I am really excited about is the state of AI in China. I think maybe AI will take off faster in China than anywhere else in the world.”
Deeplearning.ai is the first of three projects Ng is now working on. The other two are confirmed to be AI-related, though he did not disclose additional details. However, he implied he will be playing an active and creative role: “Beyond helping other people build AI systems with Deeplearning.ai, I also hope to build some AI systems myself!”
Author: Tony Peng | Editor: Michael Sarazen
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