Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn, founders of the Sinica Podcast, dropped by Baidu’s Silicon Valley office for a lively discussion with Andrew Ng. You can listen the Sept. 8 podcast here.
Here’s a sampling of Andrew Ng’s responses and insights:
U.S. internet ecosystem vs Chinese Internet ecosystem.
“The U.S. Internet ecosystems and the Chinese Internet ecosystems have evolved into almost entirely separate universes….so these completely, almost completely, different universes have led to different competitive forces because companies run different websites and different apps. There are different advantages and disadvantages.”
“The two premier world class tech ecosystems are in Silicon Valley and in Beijing. Sometimes people talk about the U.S. and China, but I think to be more precise, it’s actually Silicon Valley and Beijing… Both ecosystems are ‘missing certain things’ that the other ecosystem has a little bit more of. For example, I think mobile is far ahead in China.
“The Achilles Heel of a lot of what we do is a hunger for data. If I were to play to you the audio data we use to train our speech recognition system, we’d be sitting here for five years… This is why also, some of the hype about AI is overblown. We have this amazing engine for learning from huge amounts of data to transcribe speech, predict if you’ll return a loan on time, predict what web page query to give to you when you do a web search. We have this amazing engine, but it needs so much data, far more than most humans need in order to do these tasks, which is why I think even though AI is transforming the world, and we’ll change industry after industry using AI, we’re also a long way away from building something as intelligent as a normal person.”
“I am super excited about autonomous driving. 3,000 people a day die from car accidents [globally], 500 a day in China. Imagine if you could solve that! At some point, 20 years from now, 50 years from now, most driving will be autonomous, and the number of deaths from human created car accidents will be close to zero. And so I feel any one day that we can bring this to fruition, that will be 3,000 lives saved.”
“Baidu’s DuSee augmented reality platform is already installed in hundreds of millions of phones, whereas the way that other companies are going about VR or AR, is by building VR/AR goggles. It’s really tough to ship hardware to hundreds of millions of people, convincing hundreds of millions of people to spend tens or hundreds of dollars to buy your goggles….In the short term, I think cell phone-based AR, where we’ve been betting for the short term, will take off much faster than the approaches that require shipping hardware.”