Andrew Ng, Co-Founder of Coursera, Returns to MOOC Teaching With New AI...

Digital Learning in Higher Ed

Andrew Ng, Co-Founder of Coursera, Returns to MOOC Teaching With New AI Course

By Jeffrey R. Young     Aug 8, 2017

Andrew Ng, Co-Founder of Coursera, Returns to MOOC Teaching With New AI Course

Andrew Ng taught one of the most-viewed online courses of all time—more than 1.5 million people have registered to take one of the many sequences of his free online course about machine learning. That experience spurred him to co-found Coursera. Today Ng announced that this summer he’s launching sequels to that blockbuster, with a series of courses on the AI concept known as deep learning.

For the past two years Ng had been applying concepts of deep learning in the commercial sector, as a chief scientist for the Chinese tech giant Baidu. But he left that company in March, and since then has been working on three undisclosed projects in AI. Apparently one of those projects is his new online course sequence, which is being offered through Coursera.

Most sequels make sense even if you didn’t catch the original, but that might not be true of Ng’s latest. He promises that it covers “backpropagation, convolutional networks, recurrent networks, and more.”

Coursera may be looking for a blockbuster these days. Dhawal Shah, co-founder of Class Central, a directory of MOOCs, says that “enrollment numbers have dropped drastically in the recent times” for individual courses.

In a blog post, Ng called artificial intelligence “the new electricity,” and says it will transform every major industry just as electricity did. It’s an argument he’s been making on the lecture circuit lately, including at a keynote he gave in May at the ASU+GSV Summit on edtech innovation.

In an interview this summer with The Wall Street Journal, Ng was asked what he sees as the differences between the tech sector in China and the U.S., since he’s worked in both countries. He replied:

“I think the China ecosystem is very strong at taking things to market—it moves shockingly fast. In the U.S., when you launch a new product, it feels like you always have to fight market segment by market segment for users. And there are so many market segments. China is a relatively homogenous society, so once you find that beautiful product market fit, you can scale really quickly.”

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