New schemes teach the masses to build AI

The Economist:

Demystifying the subject, to make it accessible to anyone who wants to learn how to build AI software, is the aim of Jeremy Howard, who founded with Rachel Thomas, a mathematician. He says school mathematics is sufficient. “No. Greek. Letters,” Mr Howard intones, thumping the table for punctuation.

It is working. A graduate from’s first year, Sara Hooker, was hired into Google’s highly competitive AI residency programme after finishing the course, having never worked on deep learning before. She is now a founding member of Google’s new AI research office in Accra, Ghana, the firm’s first in Africa. In Bangalore, some 2,400 people are members of AI Saturdays, which follows the course together as a gigantic study group. Andrei Karpathy, one of deep learning’s foremost practitioners, recommends the course.’s is not the only alternative AI programme. AI4ALL, another non-profit venture, works to bring AI education to schoolchildren in the United States that would otherwise not have access to it. Andrew Ng, another well-known figure in the field, has started his own online course,