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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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AI speaker Sebastian Thrun is the ‘godfather’ of self-driving technology and an AI pioneer. His impact spans academia, industry, and entrepreneurship. As a Stanford professor, he spearheaded significant AI research before joining Google in 2007 as Vice-President and Fellow. At Google, Thrun founded Google[x], an innovative hub responsible for disruptive products like self-driving cars, marking the onset of an autonomous vehicle revolution.
Thrun’s innovative streak led to the creation of Stanley and Junior, foundational vehicles for Google’s autonomous car project. Stanley, a robotic vehicle, triumphed at the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and earned a spot at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.
Despite leaving full tenure, Thrun maintains a research professorship at Stanford, focusing on leveraging AI to enhance everyday life. In 2012, he co-founded Udacity, a pioneering educational platform where he now serves as Chairman. Udacity, renowned for its ‘nanodegree’ offerings, provides cutting-edge tech education to individuals irrespective of their backgrounds, promoting the democratization of education.
Thrun further expanded his entrepreneurial influence by co-founding Kitty Hawk, an electric ultralight aircraft startup, alongside Larry Page, Google’s long-time CEO and co-founder. As CEO until 2022, he steered Kitty Hawk’s vision of revolutionizing personal transportation.
Currently, Thrun is also the co-founder and Chairman of the board of Cresta, an innovative AI startup globally acclaimed. Cresta’s AI-enabled software offers real-time insights during conversations, empowering customer service agents and salespeople with the knowledge to resolve issues and close deals effectively.
Recognized as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, a ‘fighter for internet freedom’ by The Guardian, and one of the youngest inductees into the US National Academy of Engineering, Thrun’s enduring influence continues to shape the intersection of AI, education, and transportation.
As a popular speaker, Sebastian Thrun is sought-after for his deep knowledge and unparalleled experience at the cutting edge of AI, robotics, and education.
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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