Coursera Co-Founder Andrew Ng Wants to Bring ‘AI to Everyone’ in Latest...

Digital Learning in Higher Ed

Coursera Co-Founder Andrew Ng Wants to Bring ‘AI to Everyone’ in Latest Course

By Sydney Johnson     Nov 13, 2018

Coursera Co-Founder Andrew Ng Wants to Bring ‘AI to Everyone’ in Latest Course

In popular culture, artificial intelligence is used to describe anything from product recommendations to self-driving cars and futuristic robotic overlords. With such broad interpretations of AI, Andrew Ng wants to simplify things for the average person in a new course called AI for Everyone.

The online course won’t include any heavy technical lessons, and is specifically targeting learners without experience with AI who want to better understand the technology or ways it could impact their business. Lessons will include how to select AI projects, as well as how to work with and manage AI teams within companies.

The course will cost $49 per month and will be hosted on Coursera, a platform for massive open online courses, or MOOCs, that Ng co-founded in 2012. (He left the company in 2014.) But the course won’t be offered through a university, like many of the other online classes on Coursera. Instead it will be offered by, an online learning company founded by none other than Ng himself.

Several of the courses offers through Coursera, which Ng teaches, have had wide appeal on the MOOC website. In June, EdSurge reported that three Coursera’s top 10 most popular courses were taught by him.

Ng’s experience in AI goes back further. In 2011, he founded the Google Brain Deep Learning project and later went on to start Coursera with fellow Stanford professor, Daphne Koller in 2012. Before both of those roles Ng served as the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab.

Last December, Ng launched Landing AI, a company that helps businesses use Ai and automate processes in industries like manufacturing. AI for Everyone is in some ways of an extension of Landing AI’s efforts to break down complicated AI concepts and use cases for people and organizations with little background in the technology.

“Through my work with Landing AI I meet daily with CEOs who want to transform their companies with machine learning,” Ng’s blog post reads. “The number one question they ask is how to align their long-term business strategy with today’s AI capabilities.”

Ng and Coursera are not the only players trying to make AI more accessible to businesses and consumers. Google’s Cloud AI business, for example, also aims to make machine-learning more accessible and easy to understand, and offers services to help organizations deploy AI.

“Sometimes I meet very senior people with big responsibilities who have been led to believe that artificial intelligence is some kind of ‘magic dust’ that you sprinkle on an organization and it just gets smarter,” Andrew Moore, head of Google’s Cloud AI business, told the MIT Technology Review. “In fact, implementing artificial intelligence successfully is a slog.”

In the same interview, Moore said he frequently sees companies that make the mistake of wanting to apply AI to big amounts of data simply because the data is there.

“What you really need to be doing is working with a problem your customers have or your workers have,” he said. “Just write down the solution you’d like to have; then work backwards and figure out what kind of automation might support this goal; then work back to whether there’s the data you need, and how you collect it.”

The course isn’t ready for prime time yet, but prospective students can currently pre-enroll for AI for Everyone, which will start in early 2019.

Update: This story has been updated with additional details about AI for Everyone.

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