Insights from AI Frontiers Conference 2017 | Trends in AI

Last week our VP of Business Development – Prithivi Pradeep – was on hand at the AI Frontiers conference in Santa Clara, CA to network with peers and hear from an impressive lineup of speakers on topics ranging from Autonomous Driving to Natural Language Processing to Deep Learning. Industry experts from Amazon, Baidu, Google, Microsoft and more highlighted their approaches to AI and provided glimpses of what the future may hold. We caught up with Prithivi to get some of his impressions from the event: Q. There is a lot of buzz around Autonomous Driving right now. What did you learn about it at the event? A. There was a great panel on Autonomous Driving featuring speakers from Google and Baidu who described their efforts in the space. Did you know that distracted driving is the #1 cause of car accidents and has been for years? Autonomous vehicles could eventually reduce the number of car accidents in the US by 90%, saving the US economy billions of dollars. According to Junli Gu, Machine Learning Lead at Tesla, “building self-driving cars in the human world requires an intelligent perception of the world”, requiring a large amount of human-generated data to train the machine learning systems that power these vehicles. It was exciting to see the many developments in this space and the future for autonomous driving that lies ahead. Q. Speech recognition is also a huge area of focus for AI. Any learnings there? A. In the panel on Speech Enabled Assistants, I heard from Baidu’s Director of AI Lab Adam Coates on the AI Lab’s mission to “develop hard AI technologies that let us have significant impact on hundreds of millions of users”. Using its “Deep Speech” engine, Baidu is focused on providing human level speech recognition everywhere, from cars to home devices to mobile devices. Coates described the need for large amounts of raw speech training data to make Baidu’s vision a reality. Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 11.22.21 AM Baidu is focused on building both the vocabulary and the contextual quality of speech into its Deep Speech engine, reducing the error rate and providing a more robust user experience. Q. Any closing thoughts? A. Between this event and other AI events I have recently attended, the energy around AI and machine learning is palpable. It’s incredibly exciting to see the developments that have happened to date and the potential in the industry. And it’s clear that to make this all work, players in the space need to make sure they have access to the right data to make their vision a reality.  
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