It would look to me like the idea is to create a platform to allow universities to create their own version of ai-class.
MIT gains a lot of positive press from OCW but it must cost them at least a little staff time and money to maintain and run it. I would guess there is definitely a market for a company to claim "Hey we're the guys behind Standford's famous AI class experiment, and for a price that saves you a lot of work and staff time you can have that same, well known, platform today"
Having worked in Universities for years, I know that at the institutional level 'buy-it' almost always trumps 'built-it'.
Free master's in CS from standford is a pretty mind blowing idea. Would be really curious to see what would happen to higher ed if you completely removed/minimized the cost factor.
Thrun’s ultimate mission is a virtual university in which the best professors broadcast their lectures to tens of thousands of students. Testing, peer interaction and grading would happen online; a cadre of teaching assistants would provide some human supervision; and the price would be within reach of almost anyone. “Literally, we can probably get the same quality of education I teach in class for about 1 to 2 percent of the cost,” Thrun told me.
The traditional university, in his view, serves a fortunate few, inefficiently, with a business model built on exclusivity. “I’m not at all against the on-campus experience,” he said. “I love it. It’s great. It has a lot of things which cannot be replaced by anything online. But it’s also insanely uneconomical.”
Thrun acknowledges that there are still serious quality-control problems to be licked. How do you keep an invisible student from cheating? How do you even know who is sitting at that remote keyboard? Will the education really be as compelling — and will it last? Thrun believes there are technological answers to all of these questions, some of them being worked out already by other online frontiersmen.
“If we can solve this,” he said, “I think it will disrupt all of higher education.”
The ML class also has a full-fledged Q&A forum (which has LaTeX markup support), which, to me, is a necessary component. The about page lists Stanford students as developers (the first one is an undergraduate sophomore named Frank Chen), and the team is different than the guys behind Know Labs (from a quick search.)
Andrew Ng is an excellent teacher. Seriously, the ML class is the most fun I've had learning in a college course environment. That speaks volumes.
I mean what are "knowlabs" even contributing here? The Videos are hosted on Youtube and recorded using... PAPER???
Ok you might say: but there are quizzes!!
Those quizzes are the least userfriendly quizzed I've seen in my life. ML & DB-class are way ahead on this front.
I wish I could spend the whole week to dive into AI, IMHO without previous knowledge a regular person can't catch up with course progress. Unfortunately I can't leave everything behind to study the deeps of AI and in this case the ML does a great job, Professor NG presets lectures and a few quizes to see if you understand that sensible topic, then you can apply those concepts with programming exercices and homework.
I'm almost giving up about my dream that is attend a course in Stanford. I'm a 28 college dropout who had to start working to help family. I don't live in US, I'm married, I have a great job (that I believe is far more interesting than most of you guys). But I have this itch for Academics. *
I'm glad I've been playing around with both ML and AI classes but I think that Stanford should stick with Professor NG didactics.
ps: I know that my statement sounds like the "occupies" but is hard to see dreams not becoming reality. I feel sorry for those who dropout Stanford/MIT to create a landing page startups.
It does make me wonder why ai-class went its own way with the website and delivery methods. especially as db-class and ml-class worked closely together on it.
Take a look at this: http://www.reddit.com/r/aiclass/comments/lqm0e/an_easy_comma...
FWIW, I'd _love_ if you could download a single file "something" (mhtml, swf, pdf or heck even one of those new wolfram document format) including both all video lectures for a single db/ml units, subtitles and quizzes.
On the contrary the platform for the ML class is of very high quality and the content more polished. I especially like the possibility to speed up the video lecture, having programming assignment, and how easy it is to submit them.
I understand why people might be wary, like if the Khan academy suddenly opened up premium memberships, but this course was never designated as a non-commercial concept (though it was very much billed as a 'beta')
A bit of amateur Google-sleuthing doesn't really amount to a groundbreaking piece of news, in my opinion.
I happened to be curious after a conversation with a friend about the course, and when I went to have a look at one of the homework assignments, realized that they aren't available to those who haven't signed up for the class. That's just fine, and I respect that Know Labs and the instructors can do whatever they want (and it's fantastic that they are making a lot of the materials available). However, it struck me that this was marketed as being about open education when the reality is that it has the potential of being much more locked down than MIT OCW or the Stanford courses that do have lectures, complete syllabi and assignments freely available on the web.
Edit: Here's the link. Not sure if you can see it without being logged in. http://www.ml-class.org/course/qna/view?id=58
That might actually be an interesting AI research area, making computers better at marking based on process the student used rather than just the final answer. Wonder if much has been done in that area as it will become more important as more learning goes online and people want more than multiple choice/ final numerical answer type stuff.
They can probably infer the mistakes people made by looking at the really common but incorrect answers. I'm guessing that lots of people get the same wrong answers as each other.