It’s Been 720 Days Since Google I/O 2015

When Google I/O rolls around, it’s a time of reflection for Udacity.

In 2015, Sebastian Thrun stepped onto the I/O stage, and before the sun went down, it felt like everything had changed for Udacity. That was the day the Android Developer Nanodegree program was introduced to the world. That was the day “Democratizing Education” became a rallying cry for every one of us who would come to Udacity in the ensuing days, weeks, and years; not to mention the early core team that laid the very first foundations for the company we are today.

At about the 7-minute mark in his talk, Sebastian shared a letter written by a soldier in Afghanistan. In between being shelled by mortars, this soldier was finding time (and connectivity) to take Sebastian’s online Artificial Intelligence class.

At the time, the whole scenario seemed to border on the impossible. What was more strange? That a soldier was taking an online course while dodging mortars? Or that one could learn Artificial Intelligence online?

It’s just about exactly two years later. A little over 700 days. We now have an entire Nanodegree program dedicated to teaching Artificial Intelligence. Over 3000 students have enrolled. 3000 students! And think of who has gotten involved with this program, who has been inspired enough by the potential to want to become a part of it — amazing companies like IBM Watson, Amazon Alexa, DiDi, Affectiva.

All this in a little over 700 days.

Google I/O can be like that.

We learned at Google I/O 2017 that the number of monthly active Android devices has crested the 2 billion mark. When you think about what this could mean for education, the implications are simply staggering. 2 billion people! Each one just a tap away from the classroom.

A dream? Perhaps. But when it happens, you’ll hear it at Google I/O.


This post was written by Christopher Watkins, Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer, Udacity

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