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Foreign media: Wu Enda’s departure is a setback for the development of China’s AI industry

AsiaIndustrial NetNews: According to foreign media reports on March 24, Beijing time, artificial intelligence is now a hot field in the technology industry, and it involves the next wave of revenue-generating opportunities such as unmanned vehicles and voice assistants. In this field, China still lags behind the West. Due to the lack of high-level talents in China, Chinese technology giants are vigorously recruiting talents from companies such as Google and Facebook, but AI authoritative experts like Wu Enda are still difficult to find. The article believes that Wu Enda’s departure is not only a loss for Baidu, but also a blow to the Chinese company’s efforts to compete with Western rivals.

Foreign media: Wu Enda’s departure is a setback for the development of China’s AI industry

Figure 1: Li Yanhong released the secret of AI smart machine assistant

The following is the full text of the article:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the hottest area in the tech industry right now. Chinese internet giants and tech startups have been competing fiercely to recruit top talent from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and prestigious universities around the world.

Among the talents poached by Chinese companies, few can reach Wu Enda’s status. He joined Baidu in 2014 as chief scientist, responsible for AI research. As one of the most authoritative figures in the field of AI, Andrew Ng once led Google’s deep learning project “Google Brain”. He also teaches machine learning courses at Stanford University, with more than 100,000 students attending the courses online, ensuring his influence in the AI ​​field for many years to come.

That’s why Andrew Ng’s departure this week is a blow not only to Baidu, but also to Chinese tech companies’ efforts to compete with American rivals.

Retain top talent

Chinese tech companies are as ambitious as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others, but are still lagging behind in AI. As such, they must rely on free-flowing talent to assist the engineers who lead and inspire them. Now, Chinese tech companies are being questioned over their ability to retain top foreign talent. Can they still get top talent like Andrew Ng?

“Chinese companies only have very few high-level AI talents. Many people are of average level and have not mastered their own technology,” said Dong Jielin, an adjunct professor at the Technology Innovation Research Center of Tsinghua University. “Without the guidance of high-level talents, they cannot create outstanding talents. results.”

The next wave of major revenue-generating opportunities for the tech industry includes driverless cars,industryrobot, preventive healthcare, all revolve around AI technology in one way or another. That’s why Baidu and other Chinese companies are investing heavily in AI.

Foreign media: Wu Enda’s departure is a setback for the development of China’s AI industry

Figure 2: Self-driving cars are one of the next revenue-generating opportunities

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Kaifu Lee, CEO of Innovation Works, said that in China, AI research has only become a key project of first-class universities in recent years. As a result, Chinese companies like to hire Chinese engineers who studied at American universities, many of whom have worked on big data infrastructure projects at companies such as Google and Facebook, which is rare in China.

When Baidu hired Andrew Ng in 2014, the company was facing an inability to recruit AI talent after it opened a Silicon Valley deep learning research lab in 2013.

“The arrival of Andrew Ng has really helped a lot,” said a Baidu executive. A Baidu engineer from northern Europe said in October last year that he joined Baidu to learn from Wu Enda, even though his family and friends had never heard of Baidu.

Andrew Ng was born in the UK to parents from Hong Kong. He shuttles back and forth between Beijing and Baidu’s Silicon Valley office. It is unclear why he left after joining Baidu less than three years ago, and he did not explain his next move, only that it was related to AI. Baidu said they will continue to develop AI technology. “We have a deep talent pool,” Baidu said.

Chinese companies vigorously recruit talent

Baidu’s main rivals Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings are also aggressively recruiting talent from U.S. companies. Alibaba recently announced a long-term strategy to develop technologies including AI, vowing to hire top tech talent from around the world.

Toutiao is an AI-driven news aggregation app with more than 63 million daily active users. Toutiao has hired AI scientists and engineers from Microsoft, Facebook and other Western companies, people familiar with the matter said.

People familiar with the matter said that in order to hire AI talents, Toutiao offered generous benefits: the starting salary of AI-related employees is 800,000 yuan (cash plus stock options), and the cash part can easily exceed 1 million yuan.

Besides pay, Chinese companies have an advantage over their American rivals: the trove of data created by 731 million netizens. Smartphone usage in China far exceeds that in the United States, creating richer data for researchers.

This has led some observers to believe that despite the loss of authoritative experts like Wu Enda, rising stars in the field of AI will still be admitted to China to make a career.

“With China’s huge market size and innovative technology applications, Chinese tech giants are still attractive to top AI talent,” said Zhai Bin, CEO of Caipital Group, an executive recruiting firm. An important addition to your resume.”

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