Indians contributing a lot to AI: Google Cloud’s chief scientist

BENGALURU: Google Cloud’s chief scientist of artificial intelligence and machine learning Fei-Fei Li believes that Indians are contributing immensely to the global AI (artifical intelligence) ecosystem. Li, who is also the director of Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, said she has many close personal mentors who are of Indian origin.

“Indian students globally are contributing a lot to AI and some of my close personal mentors are also of Indian origin,” said Li, on the sidelines of Google Cloud Next 2018, the company’s three-day cloud conference in San Francisco. “So, I think India is contributing a lot to the global AI scene.”

With fake news coming to forefront as a major problem, there is ongoing research on how AI could be used to weed it out. Li hopes that AI as a technology can possibly be used to solve the problem of fake news.

“There is ongoing research in the (AI) community on this (fake news) and it’s an important effort,” she said. “Just like AI (and natural language processing) has been used to call out gender inequality in Hollywood, that women are less represented, I think it’s a great use of the technology to deliver a positive message and I hope that NLP can contribute to that (fake news problem) as well.”

Meanwhile in India, the tech giant’s Google News Initiative launched a training network to raise awareness against misinformation and provide new tools to journalists in their battle against fake news.

The company is bullish on AI and is betting big on the technology to capture higher market share in the hyper-competitive cloud infrastructure market. Li believes AI is imperative to a cloud business since several companies within multiple verticals moving their data to the cloud. Google made a host of announcements and updates in its AI offerings during its recentlyconcluded cloud summit, including a beta version of its AutolML Vision tool which helps its enterprise clients build AI models without turning to any experts.

While many fear job loss to be a problem with the growth of AI technology, Li believes that it will create a shift of labour as we have seen with emergence of every technology.

“Every time we invent and innovate with the goal of making lives better, we face new challenges throughout every wave of industrial revolution and AI is no exception,” said Li. “However, because of the computer, new jobs also emerged.”