A virtuous cycle of feedback, analysis, and action—powered by 1.5M student feedback signals a year—drives ongoing refinements to the Udacity learning model.
Udacity has been, from the start, a learning company. And we do not just mean our students. We are lifelong learners as well. The world of Udacity is a living, breathing organism, constantly in motion. We benefit from, and ideally contribute to, a spirit of progressive disruption in the field of career-focused education, and we recognize the fundamental advantages technology affords us when it comes to refining our service.
On Wednesday, we introduced our Artificial Intelligence and Data Industry Advisory Board. We envisioned a dynamic and evolving group that would feature a rotating set of experts. But when we introduced the current members on Wednesday, there were negative reactions, primarily because the twelve current members we introduced are men. We’ve heard confusion, frustration, anger, and disappointment.
This does not reflect the hard-won accomplishments of many women in the AI field. It doesn’t reflect the effort our teams have put in to reach broader and underrepresented audiences in this field, such as with our current Data Science scholarships. And importantly, it doesn’t reflect our values, which are centered on bringing greater access to careers in fields like AI to everyone in the world.
Each of the current board members is an incredible talent, and we remain grateful for their individual contributions and insights. And we believe in the idea of this board. But as the organizers, we have to acknowledge we have not yet achieved what we can and should achieve, and that we have failed.
We are acting on this now.
Last night, we met with our current board members. We shared all the feedback we’ve gathered and received. We discussed everything, and we agreed on what we’re going to do. The current board term ends in a week. All involved are committed to ensuring that the next group will reflect a far greater degree of diversity. Our current members have pledged their support, their networks, and their influence, to help us accomplish this, for which we are deeply grateful.
We’re eager to introduce our new members when the next board has been fully assembled. We’ve already confirmed one new member, and are humbled and excited she is joining us.
Our work is ongoing.
Udacity COO Clarissa Shen, at the RiseUp Summit in Cairo, Egypt
Bringing Udacity to a new region in the world is an experience that is at once both humbling and exciting. Our mission is to democratize education—to provide every lifelong learner on the planet with access to world-class learning opportunities that will enable them to build rewarding lives.
Today, we are so proud to formally announce the launch of our Middle East and North Africa (MENA) operations!
Artificial Intelligence has hit fever pitch in China. From cutting-edge tech powerhouses to established large corporations, everyone is setting up new AI Labs, hiring new talent, and announcing new platforms. “AI First” is the order of the day in China, and the excitement around this transformational technology is incredible. Udacity is thrilled to be playing a key role, through important partnerships with companies such as Tencent, Didi Chuxing, and Alibaba.
Today we are announcing the first Udacity Connect Campus launching in Saudi Arabia, with the long-term goal of helping talented learners across Saudi Arabia achieve their full potential in the technology sector. This new program is made possible through the remarkable partnership of the MiSK Foundation, and under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz.
Didi Chuxing may be one of the most electrifying companies in the world right now. The Chinese ride-sharing service just received a $1 billion dollar investment from Apple, and is poised to grow significantly in the coming year. Which is why we are thrilled to partner with Didi on the global Di-Tech Algorithm Competition, which boasts a $100K prize for the winner, and perhaps more exciting, the opportunity to join the Didi Research Lab and work on innovations that will affect hundreds of millions of riders.
“Students First” is Udacity’s mantra. It’s the first thing you see when you walk into our Silicon Valley headquarters. With our international expansion, our aim is to best serve our students to be in demand around the world. We took our first step last year in India, and today, we are launching in China.