Whether it’s foreign visits of world leaders or exchange between leading entrepreneurs, AI has become a hot-spot issue that can not be avoided. During the First World Intelligence Conference held in Tianjin (themed on “Marching towards the Era of Great Intelligence), Robin Li Yanhong, founder and chairman of Baidu, delivered a keynote speech over the topic “AI in the Present Continuous Tense” and pointed out that AI is developing and demonstrating its capacity right in this scene, not in the next one.
During the Baidu Alliance Summit held last year, Robin summarized that “AI is in the next scene”. Less than a year later, however, he’s changed his opinion, believing that the era of AI is in the present tense. In the latest speech, Robin pointed out that the world economic development in the past four decades owed much to technological innovation in the IT sector. In the future, however, the progress of intelligent technology will become the most important driving force of economic growth, he said.
Besides, he cited many examples to show that AI was already affecting people’s lives at this moment: speech recognition is becoming increasingly widespread, AI missing people search technology already proved its potential, face recognition was already been adopted in some airports when passengers boarded the plane…
Therefore, he called on all relevant industries seize the opportunity brought by the burgeoning AI technology and “collectively bring the development of intelligent technology to a new high”.
At the same time, he believed that China was at an advantage in the development of AI technology: China has a giant market and doesn’t lack talents. As a matter of fact, many papers on AI technology are written by Chinese.
“In a sense, we are born good at AI. More importantly, a huge amount of data is needed when developing AI technology. With so huge a market, it won’t make any sense if we don’t take the lead,” he said.
He also revealed an anecdote with Andrew Ng, former chief scientist of Baidu. According to him, Andrew wasn’t quite satisfied when he was at Google because Google didn’t think it promising the development of GPU. After Andrew joined Baidu, however, he could purchase as many GPUs as he could. Therefore, Baidu now has the biggest GPU group around the world. Robin also revealed that the reason why Baidu continued to provide Baidu Cloud service was that its low cost was quite low.
“In the era of AI, one or several companies’ patents are far from enough. Instead, a lot more companies have to join hands and make it happen together,” Robin reiterated.
Coincidentally, Kai-Fu Lee issued an article on the New York Times recenty and pointed out that seven Chinese and American consumer internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, have already been grabbing the AI market. Robin agreed with Kai-Fu Lee and said:
“For example, Baidu has been working on unmanned driving for a couple of years. Still, we don’t think it possible that we can do it by ourselves. Instead, we have to join hands with car makers and ride-sharing platforms. Only then can we bring the development of intelligence technology to a new high.”
[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @TMTPost-Chinese please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]
Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.