Talk about a crowded lecture hall. Two Stanford professors are launching a free online non-credit course on artificial intelligence, and 58,000 people from 175 countries have signed up. As The New York Times points out, that’s four times the size of Stanford’s student body. What’s the draw? The instructors, Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, are two of the world’s best-known AI experts. They said they were inspired by the work of Salman Khan, an electrical engineer who established a non-profit to provide video tutorials to students around the world on a variety of subjects. “The vision is: change the world by bringing education to places that can’t be reached today,” Thrun told the Times. The rapid increase in broadband availability and a new era of interactive apps has set off a new wave of experimentation in education. For example, students’ work will be rated, although not graded, via a system running on Amazon’s cloud, and instead of office hours, the professors will use Google's moderator service to let students vote on the questions they’d most like to see answered. Source: The New York Times