Sebastian Thrun


German Educator, Programmer, Robotics Developer, Computer Scientist, CEO and Co-Founder of Udacity, Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford University

Author Quotes

We were initially torn between collaborating with universities and working outside the world of college.

We?re trying to reach people outside the current context of college.

We've found more resistance among students than employers. We have yet to find an employer who won't take them at face value; they don't care much about whether the exams were proctored? Invest in a poor education and you practically need another life to catch up. I see a lot of signals that [for students] it's really important to stay within the for-credit, existing system.

We have done the impossible. People said: 'Give up it's not possible', but we did it.

We humans usually feel that we are the best at everything we do, that we can safely drive ourselves. But tens of thousands of people die every year. We need to be open to having technology assist us, to find ways in which technology makes us safer.

The potential here is enormous. Autonomous vehicles will be as important as the Internet.

The problem with cars now is that they spend the vast majority of their time parked in the wrong location so they cannot be used by other drivers,

The sort of simplistic suggestion that MOOCs are going to disrupt the entire education system is very premature.

The vast majority [of Udacity students] don't cheat. If you find a way to cheat around 1,000 quizzes, you probably deserve to pass. And if you find people to participate in your place in online forums, you should probably be a manager. As we transform testing from summative to formative assessment, then assessment becomes your friend. You crave to get to the next level. You cheat--and you lose.

These are students who pay $30,000 a year to Stanford to see the best and brightest of our professors, and they prefer to see us on video. This was a big shock to us.

They put it in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. So now a lot of 8- and 9-year-olds know who I am.

This car, to me, is really a piece of history.

This is for people who say, 'Cars can't drive themselves,' ... These are the same people who said the Wright brothers wouldn't fly.

This is the first step in the evolution of truly automated vehicles.

We believe that the skills gap is one of the most important aspects of things that we needed help with. At this point, we have about 2 to 3 million open positions in this country that require technical skills, and the number tends to grow. If you believe McKinsey, it might be 85 million open jobs worldwide, globally by 2020. And we believe specifically that the technology skills gap is important, first because there are many open jobs. Secondly, it?s also the most fast-moving area. Technology is advancing so quickly that almost everybody today needs to really keep up with technology skills. And to be honest, I mean that?s a big enough chunk for us to bite. At some point obviously I would love to include everything, and I?d love to include humanities and every discipline, but I think for the time being, this is going to keep us busy for a few years.

We had a good day... It has been quite rewarding to partner with Volkswagen on an event that contributes to such significant advancements in vehicle technology.

It won't be a very fast drive going from San Francisco to Los Angeles it might just drive 55 mph, it won't go 90 like everybody else does in California.

The dream of cars driving themselves is becoming a reality. Before, the question was whether it was possible. Now we know it is.

It's a no-brainer for me that at some point our cars will have the ability to drive themselves.

The impossible has been achieved.

It's a no-brainer that 50 to 60 years from now, cars will drive themselves.

The Jetsons had them in the 1960s. They were the defining element of 'Knight Rider' in the 1980s: cars that drive themselves. Self-driving cars appear in countless science fiction movies. By Hollywood standards, they are so normal we don't even notice them. But in real life, they still don't exist. What if you could buy one today?

It's all in the algorithms.

The military are interested in more potent weapons, and by itself that's a bad answer.

It's kind of like being onstage, where you have all these lights in your face and can't see the audience, but you still have to be able to excite them. So I think of the football stadium full of people that I'm facing. I get a kick out of that.

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German Educator, Programmer, Robotics Developer, Computer Scientist, CEO and Co-Founder of Udacity, Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford University