World Economic Forum, January 16, 2024: "The Expanding Universe of Generative Models" panelists
Personal Insights

AI On the Agenda at the World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum at Davos felt like an AI conference, with big takeaways for business and regulation.

Last week, I attended the World Economic Forum, an annual meeting of leaders in government, business, and culture at Davos, Switzerland.
Andrew Ng holding a computer while sitting next to a chimney
Personal Insights

What Will Change — And What Will Stay the Same: Change is hard to predict, so invest your time and energy in things that aren't likely to change.

AI is progressing faster than ever. This is thrilling, yet rapid change can be disorienting. In such times, it’s useful to follow Jeff Bezos’ advice to think about not only what is changing but also what will stay the same.
The View From NeurIPS 2023: NeurIPS 2023 was chockablock with generative AI, large multimodal models, autonomous agents — and anxiety about the pace of development.
Personal Insights

The View From NeurIPS 2023: NeurIPS 2023 was chockablock with generative AI, large multimodal models, autonomous agents — and anxiety about the pace of development.

Last week, I attended the NeurIPS conference in New Orleans. It was fun to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and also get a wide scan of current AI research.
Illustration of a firey cloud over a city
Personal Insights

Horror and Heartbreak: It's time for people of conscience to condemn Hamas’ attack on Israel.

Over the weekend, Hamas launched a surprise terrorist attack on Israel, slaughtering and kidnapping civilians. The images in the media are horrifying, and over 1,000 people...
List displaying 5 out of 17 computer programmers tasks by O*NET OnLine
Personal Insights

Which AI Applications Should You Build? Here's How to Decide: AI isn't ideal for everything. How can you decide which use cases to build? Think about tasks, not jobs.

While AI is a general-purpose technology that’s useful for many things, it isn’t good for every task under the sun. How can we decide which concrete use cases to build? If you’re helping a business figure out where to apply AI, I’ve found the following recipe useful as a brainstorming aid…
Does AI Understand the World?: There's no scientific test for understanding, but there is evidence that large language models understand the world to some extent.
Personal Insights

Does AI Understand the World?: There's no scientific test for understanding, but there is evidence that large language models understand the world to some extent.

Do large language models understand the world? As a scientist and engineer, I’ve avoided asking whether an AI system “understands” anything. There’s no widely agreed-upon, scientific test for whether a system really understands — as opposed to appearing to understand —
What Lawmakers Need to Know About AI: Few people in the world have the information required to regulate AI effectively. Governments need to get it.
Personal Insights

What Lawmakers Need to Know About AI: Few people in the world have the information required to regulate AI effectively. Governments need to get it.

Suddenly it seems like everyone wants to regulate AI. The European Union is on the verge of enacting a comprehensive AI Act that’s intended to mitigate risks and protect individual rights. In the United States, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer foresees legislation possibly within months.
Existential Risk? I Don't Get It!: Prominent computer scientists fear that AI could trigger human extinction. It's time to have a real conversation about the realistic risks.
Personal Insights

Existential Risk? I Don't Get It!: Prominent computer scientists fear that AI could trigger human extinction. It's time to have a real conversation about the realistic risks.

Last week, safe.org asserted that “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.
Time to Push Back on AI Pessimism: The recent proposal to pause AI research is a wake-up call.
Personal Insights

Time to Push Back on AI Pessimism: The recent proposal to pause AI research is a wake-up call.

An ill-advised proposal for a 6-month pause in cutting-edge AI research got far more attention than I think it deserved. To me, this is a wake-up call that the AI doomers have done a much better job than the AI optimists at framing the narrative of progress in AI.
Cellphone displaying an Instagram post with a picture of a robot doing yoga by the sunset
Personal Insights

AI‘s Instagram Problem: Someone else’s cool AI project doesn't make your project less valuable.

AI has an Instagram problem. Just as Instagram’s parade of perfect physiques makes many people feel they don’t measure up, AI’s parade of exciting projects makes many people feel their own projects are lacking.
Earth globe crowded with people
Personal Insights

Why 8 Billion People on Earth Are Not Too Many: The growing global population brings more opportunities to make the world a better place.

The population of Earth officially reached 8 billion this week. Hooray! It’s hard to imagine what so many people are up to. While I hope that humanity can learn how to leave only gentle footprints on the planet, I’m excited about the creativity and inventiveness that a growing human population...
Andrew Ng with a welcome message displayed on a laptop
Personal Insights

Imposter Syndrome: Don't Let It Hold You Back

In this letter, I’d like to address the serious matter of newcomers to AI sometimes experiencing imposter syndrome, where someone — regardless of their success in the field — wonders if they’re a fraud and really belong in the AI community.
A stack of academic research papers are locked up with chains
Personal Insights

Scientific Research Wants to be Free: US Officials Block Paywalls on Gov-Funded Studies

I’m thrilled! Paywalled journals that block free access to scientific research are the bane of the academic community.
People Hugging
Personal Insights

How to Keep the AI Community Growing

Many things in life have a positive side and a negative side. For instance, a new AI system might help democratize access, and at the same time it might be more accessible to people who have internet access than those who don’t.
The Joy of Conversation (About AI and Other Things)
Personal Insights

The Joy of Conversation (About AI and Other Things)

With the pandemic easing in the United States and Canada, I’ve been traveling more in the last two weeks. I spoke at TED 2022 in Vancouver and ScaleUp:AI in New York and attended a manufacturing conference in California.
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