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Why AI Visionary Andrew Ng Teaches Humans to Teach Computers


Stanford's Andrew Ng in his office

Andrew Ng, right, is building new ways to help educate the next generation of AI specialists.

Credit: AP Photo

Stanford University professor Andrew Ng's current area of concentration is teaching next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) specialists to train computers. As a pioneer in such AI-training courses, Ng says he envisions AI as a tool to "free humanity from repetitive mental drudgery."

Ng expects AI to have a transformative effect on virtually every industry, and eventually enable any job that takes less than a second of thought to become automated. He is an advocate of machine-learning neural networks, and his breakthrough in the field of AI was discovering a new way to give neural networks a significant performance boost by using chips typically found in video-game machines. Neural networks function much better if they can run thousands of calculations concurrently, an operation well suited to graphics-processing units. Ng and his Stanford team's research in this field was able to accelerate machine learning by as much as 70 times in 2008.

From Associated Press
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