A quick check of some of the recent key YouTube videos, such as those with quiz questions or homework questions, shows that most have views in the 800-1200 range. This would suggest that only about 1,000 people remain in the class, significantly down from the 80,000 or so that I heard had started the class.

Does that seem about right?

asked 22 Nov '11, 20:55

Barry's gravatar image


Update: According to information just received from Sebastian Thrun, 23k students passed the midterm, with 85% currently falling into the B+ range. (via http://fm.schmoller.net/2011/11/stanford-ai-eighth-report.html )

According to http://fm.schmoller.net/2011/11/seventh-report-from-the-norvigthrunstanfordknow-labs-artificial-intelligence-course.html and YouTube view counter:

  1. The blogger was in contact with Sebastian Thrun some time after November 7th
  2. On November 13th Sebastian sent out emails of encouragement to around 40'000 students that have done all 4 homework assignments till that date and within 24 hours of 40,000 people receiving a cheery email of encouragement, 2000 had responded, often in considerable detail.

  3. If you look at YouTube videos of Unit 8 (which is the last unit that is covered by Homework 4), you see that there are about 600-1000 views only

So, we can assume that either 39'000 of students who did homework are not watching the videos at all, or assume that YouTube does not show the count of video views that occur trough ai-class.com site at all.


answered 22 Nov '11, 22:04

Gundega's gravatar image


edited 28 Nov '11, 12:59

Something must be up with the video count - I agree.
(23 Nov '11, 11:38) Tobla Kai Tobla%20Kai's gravatar image
As I have posted before: The view counts don't immediately reflect the actual view numbers as they try to do validation (to prevent inflated counting from bots, etc... as it affects advertising costs and revenues). This is described in the YouTube online Help. See: http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=175736
(23 Nov '11, 12:16) egoots egoots's gravatar image
What does B+ range mean? What are the grades vis a vis percentage scored on the midterm?
(28 Nov '11, 00:46) dan82 dan82's gravatar image
So, we can conclude about half had given up on the AI class at the midterm. No surprise the scores are high under these conditions students are giving up when they realize they won't get a high score at the exam and since there is no penality to leave the class at any point in time, there is no strong incentative to keep working except encouragements from fellow students.
(28 Nov '11, 01:07) AchilleTalon AchilleTalon's gravatar image

I believe that when people view the videos through the site, the numbers do not get counted on YouTube. Based on earlier numbers posted after the first few homeworks, I suspect that there are at least 20,000 of us remaining. Hopefully they will post updated stats soon, as many of us are curious about this.


answered 22 Nov '11, 21:10

aroberge's gravatar image


I am interested in the answer as I presume many people signed up to the course as they wanted to learn about AI, yet didn't expect it to involve numbers....and particularly not BAYES theory... anyway I'm not here to boast, even though I am proud of my 15.6734% in the midterm <|:o)8


answered 23 Nov '11, 08:54

Brian_Swindon_England's gravatar image


but for some, Bayes network, probabilities were a good surprise : I'm amongst them - for the first time I found fun in proba !
(23 Nov '11, 10:41) ayanoa ayanoa's gravatar image

What's sad is I got the "congratulations" email on the four assignments, and then celbrated by missing the dealine on the fifth :)


answered 23 Nov '11, 11:43

EricFleet's gravatar image


I did exactly the same - somehow thought submission was due the Thursday got home to find submission closed - learnt to submit immediately and not just leave things on paper.
(23 Nov '11, 11:51) Tobla Kai Tobla%20Kai's gravatar image
It doesn't matter as the two Homeworks with lowest score don't count for the final grade. So you can keep going and still get 100% at the end.
(23 Nov '11, 12:57) Pakio Pakio's gravatar image

The view count doesn't give reliable information on how many people are watching the videos. Here's why: Youtube doesn't count embedded videos, if they are set to play automatically, which is the case on the AI class site. This was a result of people attempting to increase the view count of videos by embedding them many times with the autoplay feature enabled (e.g. the "Avril Lavigne" case).


answered 23 Nov '11, 12:33

rhasarub's gravatar image


edited 23 Nov '11, 12:34

I am quite certain that the youtube count is totally unreliable. There was a previous occasion when someone had checked the viewing count on youtube and found it less than thousand. Shortly afterwards either Sebastian or Peter announced that something like 40000 had done the homework that week. Unfortunately I don't remember the details, but I don't trust the youtube count at all.


answered 22 Nov '11, 22:36

Ma8e's gravatar image


I know a lot of people study the AI-class by downloading all the lecture videos from a third site and do the study offline(including myself), use the AI-class.com website when submiting quizzes and homeworks only. And there's others who watching the lecture videos on other online video sites for a better speed.


answered 23 Nov '11, 11:44

ssett's gravatar image


If this helps- I have never, so far, left any comment on any youtube video.

And whats the need to go to youtube when we can view all the AI lectures on the ai site.


answered 22 Nov '11, 22:18

rover's gravatar image


Why does this statistic matter?


answered 22 Nov '11, 22:38

max_max_mir's gravatar image


So many people boasted of their results here. It turns to competition.
(23 Nov '11, 00:23) antonio antonio's gravatar image
As an educator myself who dabbles in online instruction, it would be quite telling if 80,000 people started the course, but by week 6 only 1,000 remained. That's a dropout rate of nearly 99%.
(23 Nov '11, 00:31) Barry Barry's gravatar image

I am still here!! Did youtube count me in? DID IT???

well jokes aside - I'm not sure if youtube counts embedded video views. Not to mention - i'm not even sure how youtube streams embedded videos ;-o Because the SAME video embedded on another site BUFFERS a LOT even though it doesn't buffer on the AI class site at all.


answered 23 Nov '11, 10:55

Arvind's gravatar image


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