Stanford Online AI Classes

This year, a whole batch of free online classes became available from Stanford professors. I've always been interested in AI, and so I took Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning .

Both courses cover AI, but the first does more of a tour of the field, covering a lot of topics. The second is only about Machine Learning, which covers algorithms that can learn from existing data. There are many applications – recommendation systems, search engines, computer vision, OCR, speech recognition, and much more.

The classes were video based, usually with subtitles available.  One interesting thing about the Machine Learning course is that you had downloadable PDF notes of each class, and also that you could view the videos at 1.2 or 1.5x speed – a big time saver.

I liked both courses, although Machine Learning does come across as more immediately useful given its more practical nature. It also had practical programming exercises (in Octave).

For Introduction to AI, some of the most interesting modules were right at the end, when the tools you needed were already presented – Natural Language Processing and Robotics (including some cool stuff about how Google's self driving car works).

I can recommend both courses if you are interested in AI.

I'll also be taking the Natural Language Processing next year.

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