Announcements from Intersect 2018

As world-changing new technologies continue to emerge and develop, each with the potential to advance our world in ways we can hardly yet imagine, Udacity’s mission to deliver the best learning experience possible for every aspiring learner on the planet takes on a new depth of purpose, and a greater breadth of focus.

Announcements at Intersect 2018

When Udacity CEO Vish Makhijani took the Intersect 2018 stage to welcome attendees to the conference, he had exciting Udacity news to share. He highlighted new and expanded industry partnerships—and the creation of the KUKA Udacity Robot Learning Lab at KIT—that will enable our global robotics students to run their code on real robots in a real robotics lab. He introduced Udacity Universe, a large-scale simulated world where students can move beyond single-vehicle autonomy, and start exploring systems thinking, fleet management, and smart city planning. He presented the new School of AI, which offers a comprehensive learning experience covering everything from Python programming and algorithm fundamentals to computer vision and natural language processing specializations. And he announced the launch of a new WeChat Nanodegree Program where students can master the skills to build “mini-programs” on the WeChat platform. Tencent will provide 1 million RMB in scholarship funds for students in China who wish to take this program.

Defining Skills of the New Hiring Landscape

At Udacity, we are duty-bound to support every single student who comes to Udacity to learn, and we must ensure that anyone who desires to, can master the skills that will define the new future of work. It is for these reasons we have built offerings like our Self-Driving Car, Robotics, Deep Learning, and Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree programs. The skills, tools, and techniques being taught in these programs will be the defining skills of the new hiring landscape—not just “in tech” but for virtually every field—from agriculture to finance, entertainment to healthcare, manufacturing to retail, and more.

Introducing: The KUKA Udacity Robot Learning Lab at KIT

Connecting learning objectives to career goals is a key part of our mission, and when it comes to the field of robotics, we recognize the critical importance of combining software development, with the experience of deploying code on real hardware—having this kind of rarefied real-world experience significantly increases your value to prospective employers. We are accordingly thrilled to announce partnerships with KUKA (specialists in the field of robotics and automation technology), and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Together, we are building the KUKA Udacity Robot Learning Lab at KIT.

The KUKA Udacity Robot Learning Lab at KIT will enable students worldwide to interact with real industrial robots through a remote interface. They will be able to validate their solutions in simulation and then put their code on a caliber of robot normally reserved only for high-end industry labs and production facilities. No other online robotics course can offer this kind of real-world experience.

Introducing: The Virtual World of Udacity Universe

When you’re talking about autonomous transportation and the smart cities of the future, “real-world experience” takes on a different kind of meaning. Those individuals engaged in conceptualizing how we’ll live and move in the future will be dealing in exactly that—concepts.

To prepare for a role in these transformational fields, you must move beyond single-vehicle thinking. On the ground and in the skies, you must think at the systems level; how to coordinate entire fleets of moving people and vehicles, all operating within an integrated and connected digital ecosystem.

Udacity Universe is a shared virtual world where students will control a variety of vehicles in a lifelike, smart environment; it is an interactive simulator where students will develop and coordinate self-driving and self-flying fleets to tackle complex mobility and transportation challenges; it is a testing ground for systems thinking and forward-thinking urban planning; it is a playground of the mind, where one explores the possibilities of a world where the borders between road and sky no longer exist.

We are building Udacity Universe with an incredible team of partners and advisors, including:

  • Unity Technologies (creators of Unity, the real-time development platform)
  • Zipline (lifesaving deliveries by drone)
  • WRLD (3D maps and indoor visualization platform)
  • Dubai Future Foundation (future technology-focused global partnerships organization founded by the UAE Prime Minister’s Office)

Introducing: The School of AI

The likelihood that within 5 years you will be applying some form of AI, machine learning, or algorithm-based technology in your job—no matter what your job may be—is increasing every day. No matter your profession—business leader, accountant, farmer, programmer, or virtually any other role—AI is on your career horizon. Healthcare is abuzz with new reports suggesting staggering increases in the number of lives that can be saved through the use of AI. Legal and security experts are predicting dramatic decreases in online exploitation and fraud thanks to AI. Education innovators are envisioning virtual teachers helping to bring the classroom to underserved areas across the planet. Everyone from marketers to manufacturers is looking to the future and seeing the potential of AI.

When Udacity began teaching Artificial Intelligence online over half-a-decade ago, much of this was still the stuff of speculation. It’s speculation no longer, and we are significantly restructuring and expanding our AI offerings to ensure that everyone who wishes to, can learn these transformational technologies, and connect their learning experiences to rapidly growing career opportunities across myriad fields.

Udacity has already made a significant contribution to the world’s AI talent pool. Our 8,000+ AI Nanodegree program graduates represent nearly 3% of the world’s estimated 300,000 AI engineers.

Udacity’s School of AI is launching with 3 brand-new Nanodegree programs: AI Programming with Python, Computer Vision (built in built in collaboration with NVIDIA and Affectiva), and Natural Language Processing (built in collaboration with Amazon Alexa and IBM Watson). We have also rebuilt and optimized our core Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program to augment the new School of AI learning path, giving it a central focus on essential AI concepts as taught by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig. And later this year, in collaboration with Unity and NVIDIA, we’ll launch a fourth new School of AI program: Deep Reinforcement Learning.

These School of AI programs represent opportunities to learn transformational skills in efficient, effective, and economical fashion:

  • The AI Programming with Python Nanodegree program is comprised of a single, 2-month term. Tuition is $399. Students who enroll by April 3, 2018 will pay only $299.
  • The Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision Nanodegree programs are each comprised of a single, 3-month term, and are priced at $799. Students who enroll by April 10 for Natural Language Processing and April 24 for Computer Vision, will pay only $599.
  • The newly restructured Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program will now be comprised of a single, 3-month term. The cost is $799. Students who enroll by April 17, 2018 will pay only $599.

Whether you’re still new to the field, or are looking to apply new AI techniques in your current job, or are an AI professional pursuing career-advancing specializations, Udacity’s School of AI offers the right learning experience for you.

Tencent Pledges 1 Million RMB to Fund Scholarships for New WeChat Nanodegree Program

2017 was an incredible year of global growth for Udacity. We are reaching further, and supporting more students than ever. We’re grateful for the partnerships that help make these advances possible. Today, we’re excited to share details about our partnership in China with Tencent.

Together, we are launching the “WeChat Mini-Program Development” Nanodegree program. With close to one billion active monthly users, WeChat’s importance is almost impossible to overestimate, and with everyone from McDonald’s to Tesla releasing mini programs, the opportunity and demand for WeChat Mini Program Developers is incredible. In this new program, students in China will master the skills necessary to start building mini programs, and to become professional Mini Program Developers. Enrollment officially opens today!

Tencent is pledging 1 Million RMB in scholarship funds to support lifelong learners in China who wish to enroll in this new program. In doing so, they join partners such as AT&T, Bertelsmann, the Dubai Future Foundation, Google, Lyft, and the MiSK Foundation, who, together with Udacity, have funded 180,000+ scholarships worldwide to date.

Lifelong Learning: A Practical Revolution

The embrace of lifelong learning is in itself a revolutionary act, for it rejects complacency to pursue new possibilities. It is restless, adventurous, omnivorous. At the same time, the lifelong learner is that most practical of persons who is always thinking ahead, laying the groundwork for a stable and rewarding future, and developing contingency plans to ensure success no matter the circumstances.

We chose Lifelong Learning as the theme for Intersect 2018 so that we might support, honor, and celebrate this dual embrace of the practical and the revolutionary. So that we might support our students as they boldly enter a new future, fully prepared and equipped to thrive. So that we might call attention to the challenges ahead, and shine a light upon the solutions. So that we might help deserving individuals build rewarding lives and careers.

Ultimately, we chose our theme for you, the lifelong learners of the world. By your very commitment to the dynamic and ongoing act of learning, you represent our best and brightest hopes for a better tomorrow.