Baidu is now one of the few companies with world-class expertise in every major AI area: speech, NLP, computer vision, machine learning, knowledge graph. It’s been an honor to lead the AI Group and work with Baidu’s remarkable team, from the executive leadership to the brilliant engineers, scientists, product managers and others. Robin Li was the first large company CEO to clearly see the value of deep learning, and remains globally one of the best AI CEOs. COO Lu Qi is a seasoned business executive with significant experience in AI; with his leadership, AI at Baidu will flourish. Wang Haifeng, the new head of the AI Group, is a fantastic researcher and technology leader; his leadership firmly positions the team for future greatness. Lin Yuanqing, our newly appointed head of Baidu Research, is a brilliant technology and business leader, who is creating both great AI technologies and great business results. Under their capable leadership, and that of other AI stars at Baidu such as Adam Coates, Jing Kun, Li Ping, Xu Wei, and Zhu Kaihua, AI at Baidu will continue to thrive, and I will be cheering their progress.
The initial condition in which a generation finds its future is unquestionably determined by the decisions of previous generations. This is why the governance of the future is fundamentally a question of intergenerational equity. Like forests or fisheries, the future needs to be protected from the human tendency to have it all today, without anticipating that tomorrow there may be no more for us and others. Indeed, for today’s younger generation — and the one that will follow — the future is becoming an ever a scarcer resource, an intergenerational tragedy of the commons.
The edges of the future as a public good are therefore “fuzzy and dynamic”. They result from a complex mix of more tangible and intangible inputs that are, at the same time, the output of how well we govern our future. This is why the future is more than a simple public good, but what Singaporean policy-maker Aaron Maniam calls a “generative commons”. Our investments, innovations and resource management today can shrink or stretch the scope of the future. The way we decide — the participation, transparency and trustworthiness of the democratic process — affects the quality of the social capital that will sustain the future.