Baidu and Amazon Talk About AI
Last month, I attended the Seattle Biz Tech Summit, the largest gathering of Chinese technology executives and entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest. Over 1700 people gathered at the Bellevue Hyatt hotel to network and better understand China’s emergence as a global hot spot for Artificial Intelligence (AI).
There were two morning keynotes --- one by Mr. Ya-Qin Zhang, the President of Baidu and a second keynote by Mr. Swami Subramanian, VP of AI and Machine Learning for Amazon Web Services. Mr. Zhang focused on China’s AI strategy and Baidu’s role in it. Mr. Subramanian provided a map of AWS services targeted specifically for AI development.
The keynotes by Mr. Zhang and Mr Subramanian provided a backdrop for the rest of the summit, one where almost every breakout session had some reference to AI or machine learning. Granted that some of this is hype, the same could have been said for the Internet in 1997 or Google in 2004, Facebook in 2005 or iPhone in 2007. New technologies always start raw. And new technology paradigms are even more raw.
If anything, the keynotes suggest that advantages in technology, whether at the company level or the country level are always temporary, always shifting, and never boring.