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Baidu's $12 million dig for "AI Godfather" was rejected, revealing a talent auction worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

2024-02-28 Update From: SLTechnology News&Howtos shulou NAV: SLTechnology News&Howtos > IT Information >


Shulou( Report--

Baidu offered $12 million (84.86 million yuan) to invite Geoffrey Hinton, the godfather of AI, and his students to join the company, but was turned down, according to people familiar with the matter.

▲ Note: Baidu has strongly invited Xin Dun Zhong to dial back to the fall of 2012. At the time, Hinton, a 64-year-old professor at the University of Toronto, and two of his graduate students published a research paper that showed the world the potential of AI. The paper shows that they trained a neural network to identify common objects, such as flowers, dogs and cars.

The accuracy of Baidu's handling of the technology surprised other scientists and attracted the special attention of artificial intelligence researcher Yu Kai. Yu Kai met Dr. Hinton at a research conference, when he had already started working for Baidu.

Baidu offered Dr. Hinton and his students $12 million (84.86 million yuan) to join Baidu Beijing, according to three people familiar with the matter. Hinton turned down Baidu's invitation, but was also fascinated by the generous salary.

Hinton, a Cambridge graduate, spends most of his career in academia, apart from occasional jobs at Microsoft and Google, and doesn't care much about pay. However, because he has a child with neurodiversity (such as autism and ADHD), money can bring financial security.

Talent auction "We don't know how much we're worth." Hinton said. He consulted acquisition lawyers and experts and came up with a plan: "We will organize an auction and peddle ourselves."

The talent auction takes place during the annual AI conference at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Haras, Lake Tahoe, California. The tech giants all got wind of it. Google, Microsoft, Baidu and others are beginning to believe that neural networks will be the path of AI development, allowing machines not only to see, but also to listen, write, speak, and even think.

Google CEO Larry Page (Larry Page), who has seen similar technology in Google's AI lab, Google brain, believes Hinton's research can improve the work of his scientists. He wrote Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice president of engineering, a check equivalent to a blank check (fill in the numbers at random) to hire any AI expert he needed.

So Eustace and Google brain chief Jeff Dean (Jeff Dean) flew to Lake Tahoe. The night before the talent auction, they took Hinton and his students to a steakhouse in Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Haras for dinner. Dean recalled that there was a strong smell of old cigarettes. At dinner, Eustace and Dean tried to persuade Hinton to work at Google.

The next day, Hinton held the auction in his hotel room. Affected by an old back injury, he seldom sat down. He put a trash can upside down on the table, then put the laptop on it, and over the next two days, he watched the quotations roll in.

Google made an offer, followed by Microsoft. DeepMind, an AI company owned by Google, quickly withdrew as the offer went up. According to documents detailing the auction, the tech giants raised their bid to $20 million and then to $25 million. When the price exceeded $30 million, Microsoft pulled out, but then rejoined the bid at a price of $37 million.

"We feel like we're making a movie." This is how Hinton described the auction process.

Then Microsoft pulled out for the second time. Now, only Baidu and Google are left. They pushed the offer to $42 million, then $43 million. In the end, Dr. Hinton and his students stopped the auction at a price of $44 million (310 million yuan). Although bids are still rising, they want to work for Google. The reward is already staggering.

Hinton announced his departure from Google in May because of concerns about the resignation of AI. Hinton said he resigned from Google to be free to talk about the risks of AI. He says he now regrets the work he has done in his life.

Mr Hinton believes that as companies continue to improve their AI systems, they will become more and more dangerous. "look at what happened five years ago and now," he said of AI technology. "accept the differences and spread them out. It's terrible."

Until last year, he said, Google had been the "right manager" of the technology, taking care not to release things that could cause harm. But now, Microsoft has enhanced Bing's search engine with chat robots, challenging Google's core business, leading Google to compete to deploy the same technology. 'Tech giants are caught in a competition that may be unstoppable, 'Mr. Hinton said. Phoenix New Media science and technology "AI outpost" will continue to pay attention to this.

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