New online course from Andrew Ng aims to democratise AI for the world

27 Feb 2019

Still from ‘Andrew Ng’. Image: The Atlantic Festival/YouTube

One of the world’s leading figures in AI development, Andrew Ng, is about to launch an online course called ‘AI for Everyone’.

For anyone not involved in computer science, trying to understand artificial intelligence (AI) may seem like a pretty daunting task. However, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field aims to change that with a new online course launching tomorrow (28 February).

Hong Kong native Andrew Ng was formerly the chief scientist for Baidu, driving much of its work in AI. Prior to this, he was Google’s chief data scientist and co-founded the company’s Brain Team. Since then, he has gone on to launch a number of online courses, including his latest ‘AI for Everyone’ on Coursera.

Announcing the launch of the course, Ng said that while it is non-technical and accessible, it will teach students about the language of AI, how to drive AI adoption for entrepreneurs and AI’s potential impact on society.

AI, both good and bad

Speaking previously of his hopes for the course, Ng – who is also a co-founder of Coursera – said it is important that business professionals get to know the technology that will define the rest of their careers.

“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,” he said. “This course is for a non-technical audience, and I hope [it will] teach every one of the folks in our … audience how to navigate AI both for their industries as well as for their own careers.”

Ng has said that the course aims to “cut through the hype”, with walkthroughs of how to manage and organise AI teams within companies, as well as offering in-depth case studies on how advanced AI is developed, including unsuccessful ventures.

“What has happened is that the public sees success story after success story and, just like a learning algorithm that sees only positive examples will tend to think everything is a positive example, the fact that executives only see positive examples [makes] them think that AI can do anything,” he said to VentureBeat.

“One of the things we will do in this course is present a few examples of things that today’s AI technology cannot do, and I hope that this will help people … make better judgements about what could be promising projects … and also projects that cannot be done with today’s technology.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic