Business / Q and A with CEO

Tech titans talk about machines, men and virtual reality

By Ma Si (China Daily) Updated: 2016-03-25 08:15

Tech titans talk about machines, men and virtual reality

Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [Photo/Agencies]

The third area is building the next computing platform based on VR. New computing platforms emerge every 10 or 15 years. They become more natural, immersive and can help us better interact in the world. I think the latest one will be augmented or virtual reality.

AI has attracted worldwide attention with the Go game, a game that is originated in China. What is your take on this event? What is the future of AI from your perspective?

Zuckerberg: Google deserves huge credit for their research that led to this historic win. But I think when we see these milestones of AI, we tend to think that we are very close to having general computing intelligence that can solve any problem. But the reality is that when it comes to AI today, we have one really big trick, which is large pattern recognition.

Whether it is looking at an image or recognizing what's in that. They all actually come down to the basic technology that you are looking at some data to recognize a pattern in it.

But the thing that makes humans unique today is that I think we would call it common sense or the ability to learn in one domain and then have it applied to another domain that you want to solve a problem in. So you got a computer that can play Go, but that doesn't help that computer solve other problems in other places.

Ma: I think machines will be stronger and smarter. But a machine can never be as wise as human beings.

I am a terrible Go player. When we play games, it is fun to see the other guy make mistakes. When you play with computers, they never make mistakes. It is not fun at all.

One thing for sure, wisdom, soul and heart are things that human beings have and machines can never enjoy failure, success, friendship and love. So I don't think we should be scared about machines. Instead, we should use machines as an innovative, effective way to solve problems.

How do you see the future of VR?

Zuckerberg: The idea is that VR can produce an immersive, 360-degree digital experience. For instance, recently we had a demo at Facebook where you can put on a headset, move around and play a game with someone else in another room but it feels like he is there. But then when you change the headset and then you play ping pong with another person in another room somewhere.

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