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Ina Fried Mar 22, 2017
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AI expert Andrew Ng steps down from China's Baidu

Artificial Intelligence expert Andrew Ng announced late Tuesday that he is stepping down as chief scientist for Chinese search giant Baidu.

Ng, who is also co-chairman and co-founder of Coursera and a Stanford adjunct professor, announced his departure in a post on Medium. Ng, who has been at Baidu since 2014, was circumspect on just what he plans to do next, but said the task of pioneering artificial intelligence "cannot be done by any single company."

His exit comes two months after Baidu hired former Microsoft search head Qi Lu to serve as company president.

I will continue my work to shepherd in this important societal change. In addition to transforming large companies to use AI, there are also rich opportunities for entrepreneurship as well as further AI research. I want all of us to have self-driving cars; conversational computers that we can talk to naturally; and healthcare robots that understand what ails us. The industrial revolution freed humanity from much repetitive physical drudgery; I now want AI to free humanity from repetitive mental drudgery, such as driving in traffic. This work cannot be done by any single company — it will be done by the global AI community of researchers and engineers. My Machine Learning MOOC on Coursera helped many people enter AI. In addition to working on AI myself, I will also explore new ways to support all of you in the global AI community, so that we can all work together to bring this AI-powered society to fruition.