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Kai-Fu Lee is very bullish about the futureof AI in China. He started his lunch keynote at MIT’s AI and the Future of Workevent by predicting that self-driving cars will become a mass phenomenon in theU.S. in 15 to 20 years. But in China it will be “more like 10 years.”

李开复非??春萌斯ぶ悄茉谥泄奈蠢?。在麻省理工学院关于人工智能和未来的午餐演讲上,他预言自动驾驶汽车将在15到20年内成为美国的一种大众现象。但在中国,这将只需要“10年左右”。

That may come as a surprise to manyAmerican observers of and participants in the rush to capitalize on recentprogress in artificial intelligence. Especially when such predictions come fromsomeone with the stature of Kai-Fu Lee and his deep familiarity with thestate-of-AI in both North America and China. Lee completed his PhD inartificial intelligence (speech recognition) at Carnegie-Mellon University in1988, worked at Apple, SGI, Microsoft and Google and, in 2009, establishedBeijing-based Sinovation Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm.

这对许多美国观察者和参与者来说可能是一个惊喜,他们急于利用人工智能的最新进展。尤其是这些预言来自像李开复这样的人物,他对北美和中国的人工智能状况有着深刻的了解。李开复于1988年在卡内基梅隆大学完成了人工智能(语音识别)的博士学位,曾在苹果、SGI、微软和谷歌工作,并于2009年在北京成立了一家早期的风险投资公司(创新工厂)。



Face++, a Chinese face recognition startup(and one of Sinovation’s investments), recently won first place in 3 computervision challenges, ahead of teams from Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and CMU.

中国人脸识别初创企业Face++(也是中国创新工厂的投资项目之一),最近在3项计算机视觉挑战大赛中获得了第一名,领先于微软、Facebook、谷歌和CMU的团队。

The AAAI postponed its 2017 annual meetingby a week when it found out the planned date coincided with the Chinese NewYear. A nearly equal number of accepted papers came from researchers based inChina and the U.S.

当AAAI发现其年度会议的日期与中国新年几乎一致时,它将其2017年的年度会议推迟了一周,因为来自中国和美国的研究人员论文数量几乎相等。

“There is no data like more data,” Lee quotedAI pioneer Fred Jelinek. Most of the AI algorithms are open source andwell-known, he said, you just need a few smart people to tweak them. Companiessuch as Facebook and Google owe their success to a virtuous cycle: More dataleads to a product that is better trained with AI which leads to more users andmaking more money, enabling the hiring of more scientists and the acquisitionof more machines, processing and mining even more data.

“没有比数据更重要的资源了,”李引用了人工智能先驱弗雷德·杰林克的话。他说,大多数人工智能算法都是开源的,并且是众所周知的,你只需要一些聪明人来调整它们。脸书和谷哥等公司的成功归功于这样一个良性循环:越来越多的数据使得人工智能的产品体验更好,这又会带来更多的用户和更多的收入,然后从而能够雇佣更多的研究人员,得到更多更好的产品,处理和挖掘更多的数据。

As Lee pointed out, the data gap betweenthe US and China is “dramatically larger” than the actual gap between therespective populations or the number of active mobile users. Chinese use their phones to pay for goods 50times more often than Americans, he says, and orders for food delivery are 10times greater than in the US. All ofthis is data available for training AI models. “China is leapfrogging the waymobile is and should be used,” says Lee. US used to have the best payment infrastructure in the world—creditcards. But China got the chance to leapfrog, says Lee, with mobile payments:frictionless, peer to peer, instantaneous. This mobile infrastructure and allthe applications built on top of it generate lots of data feeding into the AIvirtuous cycle.

正如李指出的,美国和中国之间的数据差距“显著大于”各自人口之间的实际差距或活跃移动用户的数量。他说,中国人用手机支付商品的频率是美国人的50倍,而食品配送的订单是美国的10倍,所有这些都是改进人工智能算法的可用数据。李说:“中国正在超越手机的使用方式?!泵拦ビ涤惺澜缟献詈玫男庞每ㄖЦ痘∩枋?。但李表示,中国有机会实现跨越式发展,移动支付:非接触、对等、即时。这种移动基础设施以及所有在其上构建的应用程序都会产生大量的数据,并将其输入到人工智能良性循环中。

Useful Innovation

有益的创新

‘What really matters is not innovation, butuseful innovation.’”

“我首先想到的是‘真正重要的不是创新,而是有用的创新’?!?br />


China provides a “conducive environment forfast launch and fast iterations,” says Lee. Compared to the US, there is lessfocus on data privacy and “less expectation of consensus on moral issues.”There is more focus on execution and a dedication to a singular objective andthe vision for the company. That vision, more often than not, includes globalambitions.

李开复说,中国为快速发布产品和快速迭代提供了一个有利的环境。与美国相比,对数据隐私的关注较少,“对道德问题的关注较少”,对执行的关注更多,对单一目标和公司愿景的关注也更多,这种愿景往往包括全球野心。

Government support (of the right kind)

政府的(正确)支持

The aforementioned Face++ recently raised$460 million in a C-round of financing led by China's state-owned CapitalVenture Investment Fund. Matching funds from the Chinese government increaseddramatically last year to $353 billion, up from $146 billion in 2015 and $129billion in 2014.

上述Face++最近在由中国国有资本风险投资基金牵头的C轮融资中筹集了4.6亿美元。去年,中国政府的配套支持资金大幅增加至3530亿美元,高于2015年的1460亿美元和2014年的1290亿美元。

“The government becomes an LP [LimitedPartner] in a VC fund with a willingness to take a lower return than otherLPs,” says Lee. “That’s an encouragement to top VCs to take government moneyand spend less time raising funds and more time building great companies. It’sinspired by Israeli and Singaporean practices which are very smart practices,”he adds.

“政府成为风投基金的有限合伙人,愿意获得比其他有限合伙人更低的回报,”李说?!罢馐嵌远ゼ斗缤兜墓睦?,鼓励他们接受政府的资金,减少筹集资金的时间,用更多的时间建设伟大的公司。它的灵感来自以色列和新加坡的做法,这是非常明智的做法,”他补充说。

Most important, government funds are guidedby clear government policies. The Chinese government is pro-tech,pro-experimentation, and pro-speed, according to Lee, “as opposed to usingpolicies to forbid things.” Last July, China’s state council announced that by2020 China will catch up in AI technologies and applications and by 2030 itwill become “the world’s primary AI innovation center.”

最重要的是,政府资金由明确的政府政策引导。李开复表示,中国政府支持科技、支持实验、支持速度。去年7月,中国国务院宣布,到2020年,中国将赶上人工智能技术和应用的国际水平,到2030年,中国将成为“世界主要人工智能创新中心”。

Quoting the October 2017 speech by XiJinping to the 19th Congress which set the goal of promoting “furtherintegration of the internet, big data, and artificial intelligence with thereal-world economy,” Lee says “He gets what we are talking about in terms of AIand combining the virtual world with the real world.”

李开复引用了2017年10月大大在第十九届大会上的讲话,这次大会确定了促进“互联网、大数据和人工智能与现实经济进一步融合”的目标,“他从人工智能以及将虚拟世界与现实世界相结合的角度理解了我们所说的?!?br />
Venturesome spirit

冒险精神

An adventurous spirit of risk-taking, experimentation,and audacity characterizes Chinese consumers, many companies, even governmentagencies. This was evident in Lee’s talk especially when he ventured to predictthe future along the lines of his “four waves” or stages in the digital transformationof the economy.

中国消费者、许多公司,甚至政府机构都具有冒险精神、实验精神和大胆无畏精神。这在李开复的演讲中很明显,尤其是当他冒险按照他的“四次浪潮”或经济数字化转型阶段预测未来时。

In the first wave, companies succeed bysmartly using online data and Lee predicts that “Chinese internet companieswill leapfrog American ones.” Not only because of their lead in mobile andpayments, but also because they “are less restricted by anti-trust laws and aretenacious in terms of territory expansion. Every one of them [i.e., Baidu,Alibaba, Tencent] is going to have a bank, and insurance company, and so on.”

在第一次浪潮中,公司通过巧妙地使用在线数据取得了成功,李预测“中国互联网公司将超越美国公司”。这不仅是因为他们在移动和支付领域的领先地位,而且因为他们“不受反托拉斯法的限制,并且在领域扩张方面坚持不懈”。他们每个人(如百度、阿里巴巴、腾讯)都将拥有一家银行和保险公司等?!?br />


But Lee was a bit more precise andconfident in Chinese superiority in another part of the presentation when hediscussed retail automation or autonomous stores. Amazon acquiring Whole Food?“We think this is a rather primitive activity,” he asserted. Whileacknowledging that Amazon Go is the most technologically advanced example,“autonomous stores are coming up everywhere” in China, said Lee. This is partof a larger trend, Online-Merges-with-Offline (OMO), the merging of the digitalworld with the physical world, which Lee says will impact also education andmany other areas. If you visit China in another year or so, he promised, halfof your shopping will be done in autonomous or semi-autonomous stores. “This isthe speed in which Chinese companies implement things,” Lee says.

在演讲的另一部分中,当李讨论零售自动化或无人商店时,他对中国的优势更加明确和自信。亚马逊正在买下所有的食品行业?“我们认为这只是一个相当原始的活动,”他断言。李说,虽然承认亚马逊Go是技术最先进的例子,但在中国,“无人商店随处可见”。这是一个更大趋势的一部分,线上与线下的融合,数字世界与现实世界的结合,李说这也将影响教育和许多其他领域。他承诺,如果你一年左右的时间以后访问中国,你一半的购物将在自动或半自动化的商店完成。李说:“这就是中国企业实施这些措施的速度?!?br />
Free-wheeling, competitive, bold. “Thatsprit will launch China forward to become a very strong AI power,” concludedLee.

自由、竞争、大胆!“这种精神将推动中国向前发展,成为一个非常强大的人工智能力量,”李总结道。

The world’s most dominant spirit ofenterprise has relocated and been reimagined before, transforming from theMerchant Adventurers of 16th century England and their wave-
ruling successorsto the “American System” which first meant protectionism, and later became thebuzzword for the mass production .

世界上最具支配性的企业精神在过去被重新定义,从16世纪英国的商人冒险家转变为意味着?;ぶ饕宓摹懊拦贫取?,后来成为大规模生产工业产品的流行词。

Except that history did not end. Instead,the future is being invented elsewhere. The same motivating force that hasanimated economic growth in the West is now producing
economic systems withcompletely new features in China and India. In the preface to the 2010 Chinesetranslation of Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity, Liah Greenfeld wrote:“Nationalism has finally taken root within the general populations of China andIndia, becoming the decisive collective motivation of these two giant peoples.This has made them economically and politically competitive.”

但历史并未终结。相反,未来正在其它地方成型。推动西方经济增长的同样动力,现在正在中国和印度形成具有全新特色的经济体系。利亚格林费尔德在2010年《民族主义:现代化的五条道路》的前言中写道:“民族主义最终在中国和印度的广大人民中扎根,成为这两个大国的决定性集体动力,这使他们在经济和政治上具有竞争力?!?br />
Lee featured prominently in the storyBuderi told about establishing Microsoft’s research lab in China. “In talkingto Lee,” they wrote, “his sense of familial duty and respect for his mother andfather are inescapable.” Lee’s father, Li Tien-Min, a legislator in thegoverning Kuomintang administration when Mao came to power in 1949, had to fleeto Taiwan. “My father always felt China had not realized its potential,” Leetold Buderi.

李开复在布德瑞关于在中国建立微软研究实验室的故事中表现突出。他们写道:“在与李开复谈话时,他的家庭责任感和对父母的尊重印象深刻?!崩羁吹母盖桌钐烀?,1949年时,他是当时国民党政府的立法委员,不得不逃到台湾?!拔腋盖鬃苁蔷醯弥泄挥幸馐兜剿那绷?,”李告诉布德里。

Today, China is realizing its potential tobecome a leader in many fields, including artificial intelligence.

如今,中国正在意识到其成为包括人工智能在内的许多领域的领导者的潜力。