AI, the biggest technological dividend


August 18, with the theme of "AI in this era, the starry sea", the 2021 Baidu World conference was broadcast live on Baidu App and CCTV news APP. It vividly demonstrated how Baidu AI can improve society and people's livelihood in the fields of travel, life, industry, and independent innovation during the three-hour live broadcast.

Robin Li, Baidu's founder, and CEO said in the live broadcast, "AI, but also love(AI is pronounced as "love" in Chinese) is technology and temperature combined." "Letting everyone feel the change brought by technology, this is the value of technology."

This year's Baidu World conference looks more like an "AI Science Popularizing Conference". Li's words at the conference were very different from what he said at the Baidu World conference before, which was aimed at the industry audience. He seemed to be trying very hard to use so many examples and analogies to communicate with the public who have no perception of AI. It's very curious, what is his purpose to do that?


The main points in the Baidu World conference

The overall conference is divided into four major directions: AI travel, AI life, AI industry, and independent technology innovation to show Baidu's layout and thinking on AI.

In AI life, it is talking about how AI can change the lives of ordinary people. It is essentially the concretization of the two strategies of service and personification implemented by Baidu's mobile ecology. And this conference provides another complementary perspective. AI expands a new space for Baidu mobile ecology.

In the AI industry, whether it is the intelligent transformation of the complete water industry chain in Water Brain or the intelligent level of the production line based on the industrial vision intelligence platform in Smart Manufacturing, they show the scene of AI being applied to the industry on a large scale and in-depth.

This has put a demand on Baidu's independent innovation of hardware and software capabilities, so Baidu also released the 2nd generation of mass-produced self-research AI chip Kunlun Core 2 and Baidu Brain 7.0 at the conference, and said it would lower the threshold of AI use.

At the conference, Robin Li put forward the concept of "robocar", and his judgment on the future of cars is that "the direction of car evolution is in the direction of robot evolution". According to him, the characteristics of robocar include: on the one hand, they can realize self-driving and act autonomously like robots without the need for human driving; on the other hand, they can understand human speech and communicate with people, and even accompany people and establish an emotional connection with them, becoming intelligent assistants of people; in addition, they have the ability of self-learning and continuous upgrading.

Robin Li regards intelligent cars as the "new members" of human society, at this time, the car will be a tool from the original to be driven by people, in the future may become a partner that can be trusted.

Based on the robotcar concept and Apollo platform technology, Baidu has created a conceptional robocar.

Also for the general public, Baidu has launched its unmanned car travel service platform "Luobo Kuaipao". As of the first half of 2021, Baidu Apollo Autonomous Driving has opened its travel service for the general public in four cities, namely Beijing, Guangzhou, Changsha, and Cangzhou, receiving a total of more than 400,000 passengers. The purpose of this application is clearly to invite the public to experience and understand the technology of 'autonomous driving'.

In Robin Li's view, "the global autonomous driving has entered the second half of the technology stage verification into the scale of commercial operations. And this is reflected in the Apollo robocar took off the steering wheel and replaced it with a cloud-based driver to control the driverless. And this year, a cloud driver can simultaneously look after more than one driverless car or cars like "Luobo Kuaipao". This idea is clearer this time, not a showcase anymore, reflecting the fact that Baidu seems to have a clearer determination for future large-scale commercial operations in the field of travel.

Baidu established Jidu Auto at the beginning of this year. He talked about "the purpose of the existence of Jidu Auto is to promote Baidu's driverless technology and intelligent cockpit technology to the market in the first time.“

Another notable point is that Baidu is also laying out vehicle-road collaboration and wants to become a digital city operator.

Autonomous driving is a super complex system that needs to be realized, and it involves a wide range of aspects. The construction of digital cities can greatly help the implementation of autonomous driving, and in turn, "smart cars" plus "smart roads" are part of the construction of digital cities, both of which complement each other and are necessary support for the real popularity of driverless technology. Baidu's next growth of AI revenue is likely a key point to support.


AI is the biggest technological dividend

Is AI a dividend for business and society? It is different from different perspectives.

Robin Li must have done some thinking in this regard, his expression this time is in the perspective of society, while in Baidu's past speeches, he was talking about Baidu's perspective, this is an obvious change.

For example, in AI travel, Robin Li is more from the perspective of society to define the meaning of Baidu self-driving, but also more emphasis on cheaper and more convenient traveling and unmanned cars should become a technology that everyone can afford, rather than the so-called "black technology".

For example, you can see that Baidu launched the Five Fortunes AI data control for the elderly, which wants to solve the problem of what kind of social responsibility AI can take up in the increasingly serious aging in China, and also wants to express that technology should not only solve the problem of efficiency, but should ultimately serve people, and this is for each person.

In addition, Robin Li's last appearance was the application of AI in the field of space exploration, which has illustrated his idea that technology itself should be somewhat romantic and that helping humans explore the edges of the known and unknown is the next task where AI can make a significant contribution.

Compared to the last meeting, it is a little refreshing this time that Baidu stands with the public to synchronize "Baidu's world view" when Baidu used to introduce its progress of product technology progress all over again.

The company began to treat the Baidu World conference not as "telling what happened in the world of Baidu", but "sharing Baidu's understanding of the world" so that people can better find the position of Baidu in the world.

AI has passed the stage of being a "black technology" that is held in high regard but should become a universal technology with more people in mind. The reality today is that technology for most people in society is no longer the first sunny impression of the Internet 10 years ago, but has caused certain concerns and even complaints.

At the same time, the wave of Internet technology dividend disappeared, and let the whole society be very anxious, because we are used to the inertia of having a technology engine to accelerate the advancement of society.

Why did Robin Li go for such a science popularizing? Because if you do something that is not a good expectation on the consensus that everyone has, you will not gain efficient growth, even become a lonely force only.

This communication is necessary for Baidu, which is trying to return from the public perception of an Internet company to a "real" technology company.