Friday, December 16, 2011

AI Finis!

Remember when Iris and I signed up for the online AI (Artificial Intelligence) class as a team?

I carried on alone.

But she wandered by while I was working with the (logic) Truth Tables for a final exam question and asked me to explain the notation.

Then she proceeded to rattle off the correct answers by inspection.

It't not cheating because I would have gotten the correct answers in the end. Truly.

Besides, we signed up as a team.

And, is it fair that a guy who competed in all of the DARPA Grand Challenges (and placed quite highly on some of them) and already has a PhD in robotics is also taking the class?

Yes, the percentage of people in the on-line version of the class that has gotten perfect marks on all the homework assignments and the midterm is double the percentage among the students actually taking the class at Stanford, but what if we disqualify all of the ringers like the one above? From the discussion forums, it appears that quite a few professors are taking the class to learn about e-learning rather than robotics.

Or is it sour grapes because I can do complicated Bayesian statistics calculations but can't subtract 14 from 100 correctly? (I was a math major. We don't use actual numbers after the first year.)

This class was a blast. It took the full 10 hours a week that the teachers estimated we needed to put into it. But, looking back over the homework and exams, I can see how much makes sense to me now. Before the class, I had no clue even how to read the gobbleygook notation.

Serendipitously, I embarked on a new project at work where I can apply some of what I learned. What fun! And I get paid for it.

A big thank-you to instructors Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun and all the IT staff that kept the servers (mostly) running during this record-breaking huge class.

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