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Artificial Intelligence (AI): Is it WALL-E or The Terminator?

New session times will be displayed below upon confirmation.

Effective immediately in response to COVID-19, most Technology Training classes will be delivered online until further notice.

In advance of each session, Tech Training will provide you with a Zoom link to your class, along with any required class materials.


This workshop is designed to demystify the enigma of AI and to help you prepare for success in an AI-powered work environment.  It provides an understanding of the key concepts involved in the current and future generations of AI technology.

(No Programming or Prerequisites Required)

Two three-hour modules

Movies and fiction have created anxiety and confusion about AI and its implications.  Moreover, clickbait articles and misleading headlines can further distort the truth. While it is true that in the coming years, AI applications are likely to impact almost every aspect of our lives, AI does have its limitations.

This workshop is designed to demystify the enigma of AI and to help you prepare for success in an AI-powered work environment.  It will provide you with an understanding of the key concepts involved in the current generation of AI technology and what fields are most affected today and likely to be in the near future.

AI was initially intended to create systems that perceive, think, and act like humans.  So far, this has proven to be a much tougher challenge than originally thought.

Nevertheless, some researchers continue to work towards achieving this goal. However, most others, are dedicated to developing new systems that perform tasks as good as or better than humans in a specific area. Such as medical diagnosis, administrative processes, financial analysis, and weather forecasting.

Discover how neural networks are now effectively used for gesture recognition, speech recognition, handwriting recognition, fraud, detection, cancer, cell detection, petroleum exploration, and much more.

Workshop topics include:

  • Why AI has improved dramatically in the last 10+ years
    •          The role of data
    •          The rise of the GPU and specialized hardware
    •          Revitalization of a classic technique
  •  The difference between Machine Learning (ML) & Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    •          Defining ML & AI
    •          AI as a moving benchmark
    •          Use of the Terms (ML & AI) today
  •  How today's algorithms work and how well we understand them
    •          Introduction to the math behind AI
    •          Walking through a basic neural network
    •          Explaining the learning process behind AI (Stochastic Gradient Descent)
    •          Issues with explain-ability
  •  Understanding Applications of ML & AI
    •          Classification
    •          Prediction
    •          Generation
  •   Where AI is most useful today
    •          Recommendation (Netflix, Online Shopping, Social Media, Advertising)
    •          Recognition (Voice, Text, and Image)
    •          Fraud Detection
  •   Fields that are likely to be dramatically impacted soon
    •          Media (Deepfakes for good and for evil)
    •          Healthcare
    •          Agriculture
  •   AI Overreach
    •          Valuation (Opendoor & Zillow)
    •          Bias in Datasets
    •          Misleading Headlines
  •   What does it mean for an AI to understand, to be sentient?
    •          Turing Test
    •          Adversarial Examples
    •          Chinese Room
  •   What parts of AI present existential threats and what parts are dramatized
    •          Robotics is challenging, but progress is being made
    •          Autonomous combat is already a reality and condemned by the UN
    •          AI-Powered Misinformation


University IT Technology Training classes are only available to Stanford University staff, faculty, students and Stanford Hospitals & Clinics employees. A valid SUNet ID is needed in order to enroll in a class.

Adam Keppler

Adam graduated Summa Cum Laude with his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (CS) from UCI specializing in Computer Architecture (2017), and subsequently continued on to further his studies in the field with a Master in CS (2020) from the Stanford School of Engineering.

Custom training workshops are available for this program

Technology training sessions structured around individual or group learning objectives. Learn more about custom training

University IT Technology Training sessions are available to a wide range of participants, including Stanford University staff, faculty, students, and employees of Stanford Hospitals & Clinics, such as Stanford Health Care, Stanford Health Care Tri-Valley, Stanford Medicine Partners, and Stanford Medicine Children's Health.

Additionally, some of these programs are open to interested individuals not affiliated with Stanford, allowing for broader community engagement and learning opportunities.