The State of Artificial Intelligence

The State of Artificial Intelligence

Andrew Ng, one of the most prominent Data Scientists in the world who has previously led teams at Google Brain and Baidu, is a Co-Founder of Coursera recently gave a talk at EmTech. As the TMS Lead in Singapore I wanted to distill his words of wisdom on aspects that I have noted are very important in my years working in the Artificial Intelligence space.

Internet vs. Artificial Intelligence Era

The first is how being a company that does artificial intelligence well is completely different from a company that does technology well, which is completely different from a company that makes goods and services well. DHL and FedEx are centuries old logistics companies that have successfully made the jump into the internet age. Conversely, Eastman Kodak and Polaroid were camera companies that could not successfully make the jump into the digital age. The next twenty years will show which companies will make the jump from successfully from digital to AI.


I can't stress the point of Strategic Data Acquisition enough. Strategic Data Acquisition. I'll write it again. Strategic Data Acquisition. Almost any reputable Data Science Team can get their hands on some great computing power via Nvidia, AWS, GCP or Azure. Papers are widely published on various approaches to develop the deepest and widest neural network, but the one thing that these AI companies have done to build a moat around themselves is capturing their users data.

Supervised Learning, Unsupervised Learning and Beyond!

The next point that struck a chord with me was the increasing level of sophistication in AI approaches while I'll outline below.


Below is an image that outlines, in more detail the Representational, Evaluation, and Optimizational levels of the Five Tribes of ML as described by Pedro Domingos.


Building an AI Centre of Excellence

Last, but not least is Andrew's point from 26:16 onwards in his video where his advice to organisations making the jump into the AI Era is to develop a core competency center in AI and matrix these people and their skills out to other areas, business units, product managers and engineering teams. It is, however, of utmost importance to make sure that the AI experts are allowed to maintain their core team and the culture that comes with this to make them want to stay with the firm.

For more information, you can watch the full video here: EmTech Andrew Ng - Dec 2017

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  • Ryan Smith

    The more I learn about artificial intelligence the more I am concerned about the future of my job

  • Kevin Rowe

    A ton of insight!

  • Marley Baird

    This was awesome to read!

  • Steven Casteel

    That was great but in some parts I was bored.

  • Chris Johnson

    Should artificial intelligence be feared or welcomed?? I don't know..............

  • Robert Ellam

    In reply to: Chris Johnson

    The thing with AI is that if it becomes self aware, we can just pull the plug

  • Sam Popov

    Replacing ourselves with technology will make humanity eternal.

  • Jack

    In reply to: Sam Popov

    As someone who doesn't have any defined concept of AI, I feel quite anxious for our future.

  • Aaron Wilder


  • Victor Odinson

    Science has gone too far

  • Alexander

    I'm supposed to change my job in 2030 but this one AI robot keeps stealing it..

  • Bo Jansen

    Imagine if we made combat robots that would get smarter and smarter everyday and then somehow turns their back on us..they'd be able to counter a lot of attacks

  • Cameron Huh

    In reply to: Bo Jansen

    How do we control them?

  • Lukas Hende

    Love your articles. Keep it up... from Denmark

  • Davis Mitchell

    I hope if Super AI is created that it will become very restricted and regulated. If free reign Super AI is launched, then it will be the end of us.

  • Mouad Chikhani

    Will artificial intelligence be able to create memes?

  • Jerry Malinab

    In reply to: Mouad Chikhani

    best comment ever

  • Nash Wolf

    I give Artificial Intelligence 5 years. A.I. is already at a point where it self learn. Luckily for now we've kept them under tight reins. But a rogue A.I. will be here in 5 years and then it'll be up to our wits if we can survive without electricity. This is a very dangerous technology, and yes we will develop it because it is economical. Hopefully, I could be wrong and the further development of AI could be our planet's saviour.

  • Emily Pearl

    I will always be against A.I

  • Tony Leonard

    In reply to: Emily Pearl

    Of course because you would think that an artificially sentient being would be evil somehow. A person with upstanding ethics and understanding of its own limits would possibly take the technology further without many human casualties.

  • Mikey Jensen

    This was so good to read. As a geek, I am impressed ;)

  • Jefferson Costa

    Artificial intelligence is nothing more than unlocking the next stage of our evolution.

  • Kuan Yin

    All over media, AI is painted as some sort of evil entity that would destroy humanity if given the chance, but you guys have an unbiased opinion on AI and this is not the first post that I have read.

  • Sharma

    Can we create something that is smarter than us?

  • Daniel Sedlarević

    In reply to: Sharma

    Yes we have gone too far

  • Sukhdeep Singh

    Remember In AI A stands for Artificial which means it will never be able to replace actual intelligence.

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Salman Jaffer

Tech Expert

Salman is a Chartered Financial Analyst and heads up the Tech Team at Thomson Reuters in Singapore. He has led over 20 risk, trading and technology implementations from start to finish over his career. As the Head of the Tech Team at Thomson Reuters, Salman combines his rare skill set of strong knowledge in technology and finance to formulate unique solutions. He holds a degree and a number of professional qualifications in the fields of Computer Science, Machine Learning, Big Data and Technology from King's College London, Imperial College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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