(Yicai Global) Sept. 17 -- Artificial intelligence will drive modernization going forward and will play a similar role to that of informatization some 20 years ago, Baidu founder and Chief Executive Robin Li said at a major key conference today.
"AI is continuously penetrating various technologies and is becoming the new motor for the economy," Li said in a keynote speech at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2018, which is being held in Shanghai from today until Sept. 19. "The link between algorithms and computing power allows the field to increasingly influence industrial upgrading and economic transformation," he added.
The definition of modernization differs from time to time, he said adding that machine learning represents today's version of modernization. "In the future, no company can afford to distance itself from AI and most firms will aim to take the lead in embracing the field as soon as possible, he said.
The annual WAIC event brings together leading figures in AI from around the world to discuss and exchange ideas. This year's guestlist includes Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma and Tencent founder Pony Ma, as well as Turing Prize-winning Indian-American computer scientist Raj Reddy and Tang Xiao'ou, the co-founder of the world's most valuable AI unicorn SenseTime. The conference also serves as a platform to showcase the latest advances in the sector covering transport, finance, retail, healthcare, smart manufacturing, education and services.
Li called on firms in the sector to focus efforts on integrating three main aspects of the field, namely, AI thinking, AI abilities and AI ethics.
AI thinking requires firms to reconsider their strategies based on the notion that everything is connected, while AI ability refers to the capacities of AI technology applications, Li explained, adding that AI ethics deal with the responsibility of companies to keep in mind their original intentions and integrate security and ethical practices throughout their operations.
Editor: William Clegg