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Sebastian Thrun

  1. The Futuristic Potential, and Current Technological Marvel, of Self-Driving Cars

    Though a self-driving car has yet to come to market, some of the core concepts like systems to alert you when you're moving out of your lane, or cruise control that responds to traffic, are already here. As part of our ongoing sponsored content series with Lincoln, we take a look at what could be the biggest advance in personal transportation since the car.

    Commuters looking to get from point A to point B are generally given two options with unique advantages and disadvantages: Drive yourself to your destination, or rely on public transportation to get you there. Though driving yourself  in your own car is private and more convenient, public transit is cheaper and better for the environment. However, a car that could drive itself would offer an intriguing third possibility, and it might be much closer than you think.

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  2. Sebastian Thrun, Mastermind of Stanford’s Free AI Course, Forms Free Education Website

    Researcher and professor Sebastian Thrun turned a lot of heads when he headed a bold experiment in online teaching at Stanford University by offering an artificial intelligence course for free. Of the 160,000 enrollees, 23,000 graduated the course with a Stanford University certificate and a head full of computer science knowledge. The experience of teaching a course on such a massive scale apparently left its mark on Thrun as well, who announced today at the Digital Life Design conference that he was leaving Stanford and was heading up a new free education project called Udacity.

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  3. Stanford University is Offering Computer Science Courses Online, Free to Anyone

    Stanford University is now expanding computer science courses available online, for free, for any students who wish to join. It all began a few weeks ago with an introductory course on artificial intelligence (AI) taught by the award-winning professors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig. Now, two new courses are available; the first, an Introduction to Databases taught by Professor Jennifer Widom; the second, Machine Learning with Professor Andrew Ng. Over 100,000 students have signed up since the courses were announced. Prospective students need only know one programming language well enough to complete the assignments. The most important requirement is that students commit the time for the class: A few hours of homework and two rounds of lectures running two and a half hours each per week. Professors will aggregate online student questions and answer the top rated ones, and students will receive feedback on all of their work. Additionally, a study group is being run on Reddit for the AI course. 

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  4. Video from Inside a Google Self-Driving Car

    At this week's TED 2011 conference, Google has been inviting attendees to take a spin inside its self-driving cars. Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan managed to take a short video of his ride. Yesterday at TED, Sebastian Thrun, the Google engineer heading up the project, shared his personal motivation in researching self-driving cars: When he was 18, his best friend died in a car accident, and since then he "has dedicated himself to saving a million lives a year by eradicating driver error." (via Search Engine Land)

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