Reporter: Cai Haoshuang dawn editor: Su Qi
After 615 days in charge of Google Cloud, Li Feifei, the Chinese-American goddess of AI, finally left.
Diane Greene, Google Cloud CEO, announced on her official blog Sept. 10 that Li Feifei, who had finished his academic leave, would return to Stanford University as a professor and head the Stanford AI laboratory by the end of this year. Her successor was Andrew Moore, Dean of the Computer Science Academy of Carnegie Mellon University. Returning to Standford's post, Li Feifei will also serve as Google cloud AI/ML advisor.
The departure is not without signs. Two months ago, The Information, a technology news media in Silicon Valley, predicted today's outcome.
And some foreign media speculated that Li Feifei's email about Google's involvement in military research was leaked, is the fuse for his departure. After Li Feifei left office, the next trend of Google AI China Center, which was dominated by the establishment, was also a mystery.
Due to the end of the academic holidays, Google has been trapped in the "mail door".
Li Feifei's reasons for leaving Google cloud seem logical.
As early as June 28 this year, The Information reported that Li Feifei joined Google at the time, taking advantage of her academic vacation as a Stanford faculty member, but the vacation will end in the second half of this year, so Li Feifei will leave Google with the end of the vacation. The report also predicted that Li Feifei, who returned to Standford, would retain a title of Google consultant.
Diane Green praised Li Feifei's achievements in the Google cloud in her blog today: "During his two years as head and chief scientist of the Google cloud, Li Feifei has built an efficient team to help Google accelerate the introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning into its own cloud services." His speech also revealed that Li Feifei's departure from Google cloud has already been arranged for Standford's return.
Li Feifei himself responded in his circle of friends.
"The interaction between academia and industry and the exchange of ideas have always been the essence of the Silicon Valley legend. With the start of Stanford's new academic year, my academic leave has come to an end, and I will turn the focus of my work back to academia. It is a great honor and gratitude to work and grow in Google in the past two years. I'm proud of our team's achievements, and Cloud AI is highly regarded as the leading team in the industry by Forrester, MIT Technology Review, Forbes, etc.
Together we created several influential products including AutoML, Contact Center AI, Dialogflow Enterprise, Vision / Speech / NL / Translation APIs, Cloud AI platforms, and so on. Our industry solutions (including retail, medical, energy) have also begun to be popular. Thank you for your trust and creativity.
Especially the other half of the "good flying cat combination" - Li Jia. Because of your leadership, we grow together. Because of your friendship, let's share all the tears and smiles in our growing experience together.
Here we also need to introduce Prof to you. Andrew Moore (CMU), he is a senior leader in CS world. I remember two and a half years ago, when I returned from Google to academia, he was in his CMU office discussing where I would take my academic leave. He particularly encouraged me to come to Google Cloud and shared with me his experience of working at Google for eight years. Now I look forward to further cooperation and communication with him as a AI consultant.
Another small play: Stanford University will also publicly launch an important AI Initiative in the near future. The road ahead of mankind needs the illumination of the ideological lighthouse, which is the bounden historical responsibility and opportunity of the academic and ideological circles at this important historical moment. Only people oriented technology can truly benefit mankind.
But according to foreign media Business Insider at the end of June, Li Feifei in Google into the uncertainty of the future.
Things should be traced back to March this year.
The news is that Google is working with the U.S. Department of Defense to provide artificial intelligence support for a military project called Project Maven. For example, using UAVs to photograph millions of photos and analyze data on a global scale.
After nearly 4000 people signed a petition, about 12 Google employees resigned in May this year.
In the same month, emails from Li Feifei and other Google executives were leaked to the New York Times and The Information. Li Feifei, who always insisted that the use of AI technology should be democratized and humanized, emphasized the ethical and moral issues of AI, but was criticized for the statement in the mail.
She wrote in the mail:
"Weaponry" AI is probably one of the most sensitive topics in AI. The media will look for any opportunity to use this to target Google. "
"I don't know what's going to happen if the media starts to hype about'Google secretly developing AI weapons or AI technology for the defense industry'."
"The Google cloud established the theme of AI democratization in 2017, and Diane and I have been talking about human AI in the face of the enterprise. I will be very careful in protecting these positive images. "
A Google employee and former employee told Business Insider that Li Feifei had disclosed in her e-mail that she would do everything possible to protect the company's image, which was very different from his AI preacher's image, and Li Feifei was blamed inside the company.
AI goddess's brilliant performance does not affect Google AI China Center.
Since joining Google, Li Feifei has gradually become a business card of Google in the field of artificial intelligence.
Li Feifei, born in Beijing in 1976, won a tenured professorship at Stanford University at the age of 33. She is not only the only woman at Stanford AI Laboratory, but also the youngest professor in the Department of Computer Science.
What really made Li Feifei famous in the academia and industry of artificial intelligence is that she always stands at the forefront of the industry, breaks through the academia and industry, and advances the boundaries of machine intelligence.
In 2010, Li Feifei participated in the ImageNet dataset and opened it up. This data set is considered the beginning of the in-depth learning revolution, which pushed the arrival of the second wave of artificial intelligence.
After joining Google, Li Feifei emphasized the concept of "AI Democratizing" (AI).
Li Feifei once said, "Although AI can provide numerous benefits for enterprises, but because of the scarcity of resources, most enterprises still can not develop personalized models." In her view, the next step in AI will inevitably be democratization, reducing barriers to access and opening up to larger communities, including developers, users and entrepreneurs.
To this end, Google has released AutoML Vision, AutoML Natural Language and AutoML Translation, the purpose is to reduce the user's machine learning threshold. With this product, users can train a customized machine learning model even if they don't understand machine learning, which will be done in the cloud.
This is an important strategic transformation event in the development of Google AI, and one of the achievements of Li Feifei in Google in two years.
Li Feifei promoted the establishment of Google AI China Center. In December 2017, Li Feifei went to Shanghai to announce the establishment of the center and jointly led by her and Li Jia.
Many people are concerned about whether Google AI China Center will be affected after Li Feifei's return to Standford. But Li Feifei said in a previous interview with Chinese media that her departure "will not affect the promotion of Google's China AI Center".
Although the relationship between Li Feifei and Google's involvement in military projects is unclear, it has more or less affected the status of AI Goddess in Google: Google was actively retaining Li Feifei a month before the "mailgate" broke out, according to foreign media reports.
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