Sebastian Thrun

Sebastian Thrun
Sebastian Thrun
  • Born: May 14, 1967
  • Nationality: German
  • Profession: Scientist

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Sebastian Thrun is an innovator, entrepreneur educator, and computer scientist from Germany. He is CEO of the Kitty Hawk Corporation, chairman and co-founder of Udacity. Before that, he was a Google VP and Fellow, a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, and before that at Carnegie Mellon University. At Google, he founded Google X and Google's self-driving car team. He is currently also an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University and at Georgia Tech.

Quotes About
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Access to high-quality education is way too limited. The United States has the world's most admirable higher education system, and yet it is very restrictive. It's so hard to get into. I never got into it as a student. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
As a child, I spent a lot of time with things like Lego, building trains, cars, complex structures, and I really liked that. Time
At the end of the day, the true value proposition of education is employment. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Education used to be a slice of life, something you did as a child through college, and then spent the rest of your life working, and then death. Everything is about to change. I believe education will become something that fits seamlessly into life, and we will take big clunky things like degrees and college and fit them into a weekend. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Life
Even as a college professor at Carnegie Mellon and Stanford, I saw myself as an entrepreneur, and I went out, took risks, and tried to invent new things, such as participating in the DARPA Grand Challenge and working on self-driving cars.
Every time I act on a fear, I feel disappointed in myself. I have a lot of fear. If I can quit all fear in my life and all guilt, then I tend to be much, much more living up to my standards. I've never seen a person fail if they didn't fear failure. Life ;Time
Few ideas work on the first try. Iteration is key to innovation. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Giving education away for free is a really good idea, but it can't be the future of education. There has to be a business model around it that actually works. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Future ;Business, Commerce & Finance
Google X is here to do moonshot-type projects. Not just shooting to the moon, but bringing the moon back to Earth.
Honestly, the average American spends about 52 minutes a day in commute traffic. And as much as I love driving my car and many people like driving their car, commuting has never been fun for me. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I always felt that if countries knew each other better, there would be less war. Often, conflict goes with demonizing other countries and cultures. War & Peace
I always love to be careful with my expectations so that life has pleasant surprises for me. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I am particularly surprised that certain outlets look at pass rates irrespective of student population. As if inner city high school kids are to fare as well as college students.
I believe e-courses will eventually change people's attitude toward learning. Education will play an increasingly dominant role in people's lives. For people of all ages and all geographies. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I care about education for everyone, not just the elite. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I don't think we will put higher-ed out of business. I think we'll evolve it. More access, higher quality, lower costs, more global reach. Business, Commerce & Finance
I feel every technology can be abused, but fundamentally we put new technologies into the service of humanity. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
I find it amazingly easy to take something, if you really believe in it, and turn it to reality.
I have a really deep belief that we create technologies to empower ourselves. We've invented a lot of technology that just makes us all faster and better, and I'm generally a big fan of this. I just want to make sure that this technology stays subservient to people. People are the number one entity there is on this planet. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
I have a strong disrespect for authority and for rules. Including gravity. Gravity sucks.
I have been spending the better part of my professional life trying to create self-driving cars. At Google, I am working with a world-class team of engineers to turn science fiction into reality. Life ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
I learned to basically pull my own weight, just do my own thing. I spent a lot of time alone and I loved it. It was actually really great because to the present day I love spending time alone. I go bicycling alone, go climbing alone and I just love being with myself and observing myself and learning something. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I really believe that we have to work hard to make online education better and better, and eventually it's going to be really great. But like most of these things, it takes time to improve, to understand and to make things really good. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Time ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I take all day to climb mountains and then spend about 10 minutes at the top admiring the view.
I ultimately got into robotics because for me, it was the best way to study intelligence.
I used to tell my graduate students at Stanford, 'Don't worry about what job you have to pick because your job picks you. Let your job pick you. Find something you are passionate about. Then when you are passionate, be persistent. Just keep doing it for a while because progress is always hard work. It never rests in ideas.' Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I'd really love to see a business model for higher education going forward that is actually affordable, that uses modern technology to reach scale and quality and that really reimburses the services rendered in a way that's meaningful to everybody. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Business, Commerce & Finance
If we could do away with traffic accidents, that'd be wonderful. There'd be more than a million people saved every year on this planet.
If we study learning as a data science, we can reverse engineer the human brain and tailor learning techniques to maximize the chances of student success. This is the biggest revolution that could happen in education, turning it into a data-driven science, and not such a medieval set of rumors professors tend to carry on. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Success
If you focus on the single question of who knows best what students need in the workforce, it's the people already in the workforce. Why not give industry a voice?
If you look at the ability of a self-driving car to stay in the lane and not to speed and keep a good distance to the car in front of you, it actually does better than me.
I'm really looking forward to a time when generations after us look back and say how ridiculous it was that humans were driving cars. Time
In most parts of the world, starting a company that goes bust is dubbed a 'failure.' In Silicon Valley, we call this 'gaining experience.' We are willing to take the risks that are inherent for innovation. Failure
In my son's kindergarten, they're telling us how to get him into Stanford. By their advice, I'm doing everything wrong, because I'm trying to make him happy rather than putting him through as many piano lessons as possible.
It's a no-brainer for me that at some point our cars will have the ability to drive themselves.
It's important to celebrate your failures as much as your successes. If you celebrate your failures really well, and if you get to the motto and say, 'Wow, I failed, I tried, I was wrong, I learned something,' then you realize you have no fear, and when your fear goes away, you can move the world.
It's sad that we never get trained to leave assumptions behind.
I've developed my passion for cars that drive themselves from being stuck in traffic for many, many, many hours of my life. I don't know what it adds up to, but I feel like I've lost a year or two just in traffic. That's big to me. That's a lot of time, a lot of money that I just lose on the road. Life ;Time ;Money, Coins & Minting
Most rules that you think are written in stone are just societal. You can change the game and really reach for the stars and make the world a better place.
Nobody phrases it this way, but I think that artificial intelligence is almost a humanities discipline. It's really an attempt to understand human intelligence and human cognition.
Online education that leaves almost everybody behind except for highly motivated students, to me, can't be a viable path to education. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Question every assumption and go towards the problem, like the way they flew to the moon. We should have more moon shots and flights to the moon in areas of societal importance.
Self-driving cars will enable car-sharing even in spread-out suburbs. A car will come to you just when you need it. And when you are done with it, the car will just drive away, so you won't even have to look for parking.
Technology is synonymous for connection with other people. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
That's what Google taught me. Aim higher. Udacity is my playground - to radically experiment and find out. I've seen the light.
The Jetsons had them in the 1960s. They were the defining element of 'Knight Rider' in the 1980s: cars that drive themselves. Self-driving cars appear in countless science fiction movies. By Hollywood standards, they are so normal we don't even notice them. But in real life, they still don't exist. What if you could buy one today? Life ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
We don't look at problems logically, we look at them emotionally. We look at them through the guts. We look at them as if we're doing a high school problem, like what is beautiful, what makes me recognized among my peers. We don't go and think about things. We, as a society, don't wish to engage in rational thought. Society
We humans usually feel that we are the best at everything we do, that we can safely drive ourselves. But tens of thousands of people die every year. We need to be open to having technology assist us, to find ways in which technology makes us safer. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
We need to make education so much fun that students can't help but learn. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
You are going to fail, and failing, for me, is as joyful as succeeding. Failing means that there is something to learn, and we can improve and do it better next time. Time
You can't change the world without a certain amount of healthy willingness to break the rules.
You have to understand that teaching online is different, just like movies are different from the stage and TV is different from radio. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle