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Monday, March 2, 2015

Andrew Ng - We have been historically successful at educating our children, but we may fail to retrain our adults.

AI is nice - but what will happen with the people displaced by automation? 

Andrew Ng worked on autonomous helicopters at the beginning of his research career at Stanford, and is now in charge of the Deep Learning work at Baidu, the Chinese answer to Google, including state of the art voice recognition and visual search. And from his bosun's chair, he sees an incoming tide of automation that will deprive many adults of their jobs.

As an example, Ng cites the millions of truck drivers who may become redundant within their working lives with the arrival of self-driving freight vehicles.

Ng's fears that the current swell of job losses will be faster than previous waves. His argument is that previous waves of technological change were slow, and most of the workers who were displaced by technology fell out of the workforce naturally, with their children going on to different work. 

Ng has long been pre-occupied with education, and founded the successful site Coursera. He stresses that the web teaching methods pioneered by Coursera are used internally by Baidu to perfect the skills of their best intellectual workers. But when it comes to retraining adults with simple jobs, he doubts there is a known solution. 

Ng's remarks can be heard in the question and answer section at the end of the following video.


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