Digital communications technologies disrupt information industries. That’s Craigslist siphoning off newspaper classified ads. It’s Hulu helping 20 somethings cut the cord. It’s Pandora (or Spotify, if you wish) facilitating micro-radio stations.
One of the largest information industries in the country, higher ed, has had its hands full with state budget cuts; digital tech has not decimated the bottom line. (Yet.)
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence is being offered online this fall, free of charge, to “students” around the world. The introductory class is historically one of the largest at Stanford University, with about 200 students. In a YouTube overview of the online class, professor Sebastian Thrun explains that his goal is to have about 200,000 online students and make it “the largest online AI class ever taught.”
As of this writing, almost 90,000 people have signed up. The Stanford campus is home to about 15,000 students.