Andrew Ng Says Enough Papers, Let’s Build AI Now!

While the scientific community continues looking for new breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, Andrew Ng believes the tech we need is already here. In his keynote speech Friday at the AI Frontiers Conference, the founder of Coursera & Deeplearning.ai encouraged AI talents to roll up their sleeves and start making a difference — whether with major industry players or through their own startups. “We have enough papers. Stop publishing, and start transforming people’s lives with technology!”

The three-day conference drew over 1,400 attendees from 17 different countries to the Santa Clara Convention Center. Ng’s keynote speech was titled “AI is the new electricity”.

The number of papers submitted across arxiv-sanity categories such as machine learning, computer vision, and speech recognition has dramatically risen since 2012, says OpenAI’s Senior Engineer Andrej Karpathy. Few, however, make significant or direct contributions to society.

Ng wants to quicken deep learning’s transition from research to real world application. Over the last five years deep learning has achieved huge success in energizing computer vision and speech recognition. Ng believes natural language processing is the next major field deep learning will revolutionize.

Ng is however concerned that a shortage of AI talents will stall its implementation in society, and so has pioneered online deep learning education. In addition to five newly released specialization courses on Coursera, Deeplearning.ai is expected to soon launch an experimental deep learning camp aimed at training coders with machine learning skills in deep learning tasks.

Ng foresees an explosion of job openings for engineers with AI expertise. Market research firm Vanson Bourne’srecent survey of 260 large organizations confirms the adoption of AI is growing remarkably. Many companies may even introduce a dedicated AI C-Suite position: “The movement to hire Chief AI Officers is taking off,” tweeted Ng last month.

Deeplearning.ai recently posted openings for full-stack engineers and software engineers with machine learning skills. Ng is also headhunting AI talent for other companies he’s involved with, such as San Francisco autonomous driving startup Drive.ai (whose CEO is Ng’s wife Carol Reiley); and Woebot, a chatbot startup where Ng chairs the board of directors.

The influx of AI is changing tech companies’ workflow. For example, a software & product engineer can build a user interface prototype from a mockup; but cannot build a chatbot or other AI-driven application in this way — an appropriately designed machine learning model is also required.

Ng cautions that even if a technology company does R&D on neural networks, that does not make it an AI-driven company. True AI companies also prioritize the strategic data acquisition and the unified data analytics required to train the neural network.

Following Ng’s keynote speech, AI Frontiers invited over 50 leading figures from tech giants such as Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft to share recent research results and product development information from different trending applications.

Click the link to read more insights from AI Frontiers.


Journalist: Tony Peng | Editor: Michael Sarazen

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