In 2014, Ng moved from Google to its Chinese competitor Baidu. There he earned international recognition for his work on automatic speech recognition with the especially complex language of Mandarin. Voice recognition forms the basis for conversational interfaces—such as assistants and chatbots that can understand our colloquial language.
Ng believes that machine intelligence will increasingly become part and parcel of our daily working and private lives. “AI is the new electricity. It will radically transform nearlyevery major industry—healthcare, transportation, entertainment, manufacturing—enriching the lives of countless people. I am more optimistic than ever about the fantastic future we will build with AI,” he explained in March 2017 when he unexpectedly announced his departure from Baidu.
“I want all of us to have self-driving cars, conversational computers that we can talk to naturally and healthcare robots that understand what ails us. The industrial revolution freed humanity from much repetitive physical drudgery. I now want AI to free humanity from repetitive mental drudgery.”
AI is the new electricity.