Udacity, Online School From Google X Founder, Crosses Milestone After Switching Direction

Pop quiz: What did two of the world’s foremost artificial intelligence experts do after leaving Google? Did you answer, “Go start online education startups?” Well done! That was the move of both Andrew Ng, co-founder of Google’s deep learning research, and Sebastian Thrun, co-founder of the Google X research lab. Ng left for Coursera, only to step back from the role last year after returning to AI as chief scientist for Baidu. Thrun stuck with it. His new venture, Udacity, a four-year-old startup, began as a pioneering provider of “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, with the broad edict of tackling all of higher education. In June of 2014, Thrun swiveled (very publicly). Udacity narrowed its focus, aiming for students that want specialized software training to advance in the tech…


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