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.
Excerpt from "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, cast in a plaque
Personal Insights

Welcoming Refugees

I’ve always thought that how you treat those who are powerless shows your true character. People rarely mistreat others who have power over them -- for example, their boss — because they might suffer adverse consequences.
Sleigh made of gift boxes
Personal Insights

The Spirit of Giving in AI and Beyond

As we approach the end of 2021, you may be winding down work and gearing up for the winter holiday. I’m looking forward to taking a break from work and hope you are too.
Project management cartoon
Personal Insights

Solving AI Problems With Civility

I’m grateful to the AI community for the friendships it has brought me and the benefits it has brought to billions of people. But members of the AI community don’t always honor one another.
Andrew Ng playing piano
Personal Insights

Background Music: Pleasure or Pitfall?

Years ago, whenever I had to do something boring or unpleasant — such as drive to work or go for a run — I used to listen to music to provide a distraction. Although I still appreciate music, as I got older I decided to cut out distractions.
Hand-drawn letter with a heart and signed by Andrew
Personal Insights

Are You OK? Taking Care of Emotional and Mental Health

Since the pandemic started, several friends and teammates have shared with me privately that they were not doing well emotionally. I’m grateful to each person who trusted me enough to tell me this. How about you — are you doing okay?
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