Baidu CEO: "AI will be bigger than the internet"

Robin Li Yanhong estimates that while the impact of AI will be huge, there will be "more opportunities than threats"


Robin Li Yanhong, co-founder and CEO of the Chinese tech colossus Baidu has claimed that over the next few decades AI will have a bigger impact on society than the internet due to the technology's potential to change the way businesses and industries work.

"If the internet was the appetizer, then AI is the main course," Li said onstage at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York. "The internet changed a lot of our daily lives but did not have much impact on the 2B industries. I think AI will change that."

The prediction follows McKinsey's calculation earlier this month that AI will be used in 70% of businesses by 2030.

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The increasing use of AI has had a mixed response so far, from excitement to outright fear, and the main concern has been the potential threat to job losses.

Li predicted that while AI will replace a lot of human jobs, increasing use of automation will also create a lot of new jobs, giving the example of data labeling whereby humans tag data and feed it to computers to learn.

"It's hard for me or anyone to imagine what new job opportunities will be created" he added.

Li, however, "sees more opportunities than threats."

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