Today I started taking the class in Artificial Intelligence that Stanford is offering online. It’s very cool and I immediately felt stupid, which is part of why the class is so cool. I expected it to be hard, but I didn’t think my incomprehension would begin immediately.
I love this. Frustrating, but I love it.
Online Introduction to Artificial Intelligence is based on Stanford CS221, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence. This class introduces students to the basics of Artificial Intelligence, which includes machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, robotics, and natural language processing.
The objective of this class is to teach you modern AI. You learn about the basic techniques and tricks of the trade, at the same level we teach our Stanford students. We also aspire to excite you about the field of AI. Whether you are a seasoned professional, a college student, or a curious high school student – everyone can participate.
This online class will make this material available to a worldwide audience. But rather than just watching lectures online, you will participate. You will do homework assignments, take exams, participate in discussions with other students, ask questions of the instructors, and also get a final score.
I’m taking it because, you know, I tend to write about AI a fair bit. I’m hoping this will give me a more grounded vocabulary when I’m working on SF stories. If nothing else, I’ll have the language to go look something up.
One of the things that’s nice about the way the course is presented is that I can pause the lecture and rewind it when I’m having trouble grasping something. One of the things that it makes me really aware of is how much I have self-selected my activities over the course of my life so I only do things in areas that I have a degree of comfort. This uses math concepts that I haven’t touched since high school.
I’m looking forward to struggling through this over the next several weeks. It’s nice to make my brain work in a different area.