Did you ever feel you’ve had enough of your current line of work and wanted to shift gears? If you have, you’re definitely not alone. Besides taking part in the Great Resignation, however, there are also less radical approaches, like the one Andrew Ng is taking.
Ng, among the most prominent figures in AI, is founder of LandingAI and DeepLearning.AI, co-chairman and cofounder of Coursera, and adjunct professor at Stanford University. He was also chief scientist at Baidu and a founder of the Google Brain Project. Yet, his current priority has shifted, from “bits to things,” as he puts it.
In 2017, Andrew Ng founded Landing AI, a startup working on facilitating the adoption of AI in manufacturing. This effort has contributed to shaping Ng’s perception of what it takes to get AI to work beyond big tech.
We connected with Ng to discuss what he calls the “data-centric approach” to AI, and how it relates to his work with Landing AI and the big picture of AI today.
From bits to things
Ng explained that his motivation is industry-oriented. He considers manufacturing “one of those great industries that has a huge impact on everyone’s lives, but is so invisible to many of us.” Many countries, the U.S. included, have lamented manufacturing’s decline. Ng wanted “to take AI technology that has transformed internet businesses and use it to help people working in manufacturing.”
This is a growing trend: According to a 2021 survey from The Manufacturer, 65% of leaders in the manufacturing sector are working to pilot AI. Implementation in warehouses alone is expected to hit a 57.2% compound annual growth rate over the next five years.