Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer at Nexus FrontierTech; Harvard Professor of Business & Economics; Author
The future belongs to human-machine collaboration, and no one has contributed more to that development than tech speaker Sebastian Thrun. As a pioneering robotics engineer, groundbreaking AI researcher, and founder of Google X, Thrun has helped build the future. As founder of Udacity, he revolutionized online education. Sebastian Thrun is one of the world's best speakers when it comes to innovation.
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One of the world’s truly great innovators, technology speaker Sebastian Thrun is a disruptive innovator and education maverick. As a speaker, Sebastian Thrun delivers stirring addresses on topics ranging from AI and technical innovation to creativity and education.
While a tenured professor at Stanford, Sebastian Thrum led the development of award-winning robotic vehicles. One, named Stanley, won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and is now displayed at the Smithsonian. The second, Junior, placed second at the 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge, but earned Thrun something more valuable: Google’s attention.
Joining Google as a Vice President and Fellow, Thrun soon founded Google X, the company’s moonshot R&D factory. There, he built on his previous work to earn a reputation as the godfather of the self-driving car. Thrun also led the Google Glass and Loon projects, and initiatives to develop medical contact lenses and indoor localization. Through Google X, he helped launch the Google Brain project, which develops deep-learning AI technologies.
A chance meeting with Khan Academy founder Sal Khan inspired Thrun to go online with his Stanford AI class. More than 160,000 students took the course, and the best performers weren’t from Stanford. A year later, Thrun launched Udacity, which now offers “nanodegrees” to millions of students each year.
Thrun returned to engineering as co-founder and chief executive of Kitty Hawk, which develops autonomous aircraft and flying cars. He is one of the youngest members ever elected into the National Academy of Engineering. He is also a member of the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in his native Germany. Foreign Policy named him one of 2012’s top 100 global thinkers, and he won the inaugural AAAI Ed Feigenbaum Prize.
His deep knowledge and unparalleled experience at the cutting edge of AI, robotics, and education highlight events and conferences worldwide.
Thrun is known as the godfather of AI and machine learning. In 2005, his team won the DARPA Grand Challenge with their robot “Stanley.” He also founded Google X in 2010 and led its self-driving car team. Thrun truly believes that AI has limitless applications, and is set to disrupt many industries in the next years. In this fascinating session, Thrun will talk about these limitless applications and how he envisions a near future in which AI powers every business and industry.
Sebastian Thrun — the scientist and inventor, educator and serial entrepreneur, Google moonshot factory chieftain and self-driving car architect — is trying to disrupt yet another industry. His latest passion project: Kitty Hawk, the electric flying car company led by himself and backed by Google’s Larry Page. In this talk, Sebastian will talk about the future of flight and how this startup aims to free people from traffic. He will also talk about he started, and led, Google's autonomous-car project and is now building a self-driving car at his online-learning startup Udacity.
Sebastian Thrun is pioneering online education at his online-learning startup, Udacity. Udacity has been called the “University of Silicon Valley.” as it provides Nanodegrees in programming, data science, artificial intelligence, digital marketing, and more. Sebastian has long advocated for the future of education being online, and has disrupted already higher education with the Nanodegrees which significantly reduce the cost of a technical education, bringing the most innovative and latest skills that companies nowadays require, and makes it available all around the world. The purpose of Thrun is to fill the nationwide gap in skilled technology workers that are needed to handle the high-tech jobs of today and tomorrow.
From the Google Self Driving Car to Google Glass to the education start-up Udacity, Sebastian Thrun has led remarkable teams in the creation of products that will truly change the way the world works in the future. Which is why we selected him as the 2013 winner of the ALVA Award, a special prize presented by Behance in partnership with GE to recognize remarkable serial inventors.
In this talk, Thrun outlines his approach to making incredible ideas happen. Along the way he talks about the importance of setting wildly ambitious goals, embracing failure as an opportunity to learn, iterating as fast as you can, and giving your team members the autonomy they need to invent.
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