About a year ago the AI site was launched and closed after a short few days.


I'd say the general reason is that we simply didn't draw the right crowd, and there were not enough people asking questions because they weren't working with it but simply said "Wow, AI is cool stuff, I can ask metaphysics questions there!"

However, it may be worth keeping an eye on a few things to consider re-launching the site (and that's what I'd like to discuss).

The Stanford AI Class may have a high volume of people (100k+), I'm doubtful that all of them truthfully understand the complexity of what the course is about, but it's generating some cool interest, and spreading learning.

Already there's three Q/A sites dedicated to a course on AI.




Would it make sense to resurrect the dead project? Would it just fail again?

Considerations are of course, this interest level may be a one-hit-wonder, and the interest is specific to the class, perhaps not general AI.

Is it too soon? What would be an indication that it's worthwhile to re-launch the site proposal?

  • After another failed attempt in 2014, a new attempt is on the way since December 2015. Are you part of it? The scope is not clear yet. Robert Cartaino makes very important points that any community must address. Now in 2016 when AI is "everywhere", it is not clear yet whether a Q&A is meaningful. I for one think so, but I did not find the right words yet, if they exist. Please come over if you did not do so already, and please help refine the attempt with your past experience. Until we get Musk or Hawkins on the forum :-) Feb 13, 2016 at 9:15
  • Restart.
    – kenorb
    Aug 10, 2016 at 11:14

2 Answers 2


That is really difficult to answer. It takes the right people all coming together at the right time pushing in the same direction to make a site work. So I suspect it would take a significant change in one (or more) of those factors to turn a proposal into a successful site.

So I suspect it would take

  • Someone with significant influence in that industry to lead a proposal that draws the right crowd, or
  • Enough time to pass for the demographics of either Stack Exchange or the AI audience to experience a significant shift, or
  • A better scoped proposal that captures the interest of a more suitable audience.

Based on those Stanford AI links you posted, I do not see a single question about AI. 100% of the questions are about the class.

So the same problem as the original AI site still applies — The Q&A participants seem to have an interest in the subject of AI, but they are not participating as experts. They join the site because they are merely curious.

That's why the original AI site failed.

  • That's very much my concern with starting a new one. I'm going to keep this open until a few weeks into the course-- if it looks like there might be some merit, then maybe it isn't totally dead in the water. Otherwise, it's probably still not worthwhile.
    – Incognito
    Aug 24, 2011 at 20:46
  • 1
    If the entire class would use that site to ask and answer question, I don't think its a problem if the level of questions isn't at an expert level. AI isn't exactly an elementary class to begin with. The biggest problem is getting good answers and making sure the wrongs ones don't get upvoted, because they look good
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 29, 2011 at 8:22
  • @Robert, after being about 1.5 months into the course I can assure you there are a significant amount of theoretical questions being asked about AI on aiqus.com. There's also a Databases and Machine Learning class which host their own (crappy) Q&A forum, which hold a lot of questions that would be on-topic on sites like Cross Validated and DBA.SE. Given that most courses are going to be reboot in January or new ones are started, it would be interesting to look closer into this
    – Ivo Flipse
    Nov 18, 2011 at 18:29
  • @IvoFlipse There's been some talk about doing more to proactively seek appropriate audiences to help build these early sites. It's still really early in the planning, but I noted your idea here. Thanks. Nov 18, 2011 at 18:53

Please see my post on meta https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/112747/the-living-and-the-dead-proposal-for-an-artificial-intelligence-robotics-s regarding this very subject.

I have already posted a notification on aiqus.com to try to rallye the troops. I have also attempted to contact the professors of the course to see if they can help leverage their audience.

Unfirtunately I didn't realize that I should have started asking questions here before forging ahead.

Uniquely, perhaps I am attempting to fuse the AI and robotics communities together as both have failed individually.

Please see the new proposal http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/36600/artifical-intelligence-robotics


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