Li Yanhong and his Baidu AI Developers Conference never missed the topic of hot search. Only this time, after a bottle of mineral water was poured down, a well-prepared industrial intelligence show was a supporting role.
Baidu Group made an official response to the incident of watering the boss at the scene, saying that it was angry at the incident at the AI Developers Conference and strongly condemned the perpetrators’ behavior. The perpetrators have been taken away by the public security organs and investigated.
A bottle of water has smashed “industry intelligence”
On July 3, 2019, near 1 pm, the Baidu AI Developers Conference was the main forum. Baidu Chairman and CEO Li Yanhong did not get up immediately. He sat in the middle of the first row with a smile, and took photos with his photographers.
After about a minute, he got up and talked easily with the vice president of Intel, Naveen Rao, and then escorted by several staff members. The figure has not disappeared. Not far from a VIP guest, he took out his mobile phone and teased his friends: Online even “Hongyan get water” came out… I don’t know if Li Yanhong who was in front of him heard it. And just a few hours later, Taobao sellers have put on the “Hongyan get water” T-shirt.
Every Baidu AI developer conference is not lacking in hot search events.
At the first conference in 2017, Li Yanhong took a driverless car from the North Fifth Ring Road and ate the first unmanned ticket in China. In the second conference of 2018, after Lu Qi’s resignation, Li Yanhong and Baidu’s executives made their debut in the first place. Li Yanhong said that Baidu was not a PPT car, but also contributed to the headline of the media. If the first two sessions have traces of commercial planning, but this time the unidentified person is pouring mineral water on the stage, it is a bit confusing.
At that time, Li Yanhong just spoke to automatic parking and was preparing to help everyone realize the “last mile of freedom.” An unidentified man took a bottle of Ipoh and went to the stage. Li Yanhong stared at the bottle of water. The slight movement of the arm was estimated to be ready to be taken, but the left wrist was pressed momentarily, and then the mineral water was poured from the top of his head. The meticulous, ten-year-old elite hairstyle and the white shirt with the Baidu logo on the upper body were all wet.
Li Yanhong, who has been publicly humiliated and has a good temper, has a twilight face, but still maintains a decent face. He just asked inexplicably: What’s your problem? It is a pity that the other party ran off the stage and was taken away from the venue by security personnel.
The audience who had no time to react, thought that this scene was an established arrangement. A VIP sitting in the second row told the reporter that he was blind at the time. Then there is silence in the audience.
Until Li Yanhong paused for more than ten seconds, calmly and tacitly said: Everyone saw that there will be various things happening on the road of AI, but our determination to move forward will not change, many people I realized that this was an emergency.
A Baidu employee was in a low mood, and she said she didn’t know why this happened.
There are still netizens who question the hype. However, several participants at the scene told reporters that Li Yanhong is a person who cherishes his face and will not do such a self-destructive image.
Baidu has repeatedly been publicly condemned for its business model of search business. The “Weize Zexi incident” became an example of “doing evil” on Baidu’s forehead. It could not be smoothed after three years, but it was taken out from time to time. When Li Yanhong was elected to the academician, he attracted a wave of condemnation, so the public The complex emotions of Baidu have never been smoothed out. In this year’s college entrance examination to fill the critical moment of volunteering, the Shanxi Recruitment Center prompts candidates to use the search engine with caution when filling out their volunteers. Otherwise, they may mistakenly enter the notice of other websites and put Baidu on the fire again.
Li Yanhong said that technology is Baidu’s belief, Baidu can also use technology to bring some different experiences to many people who usually lack attention.
There is a pheasant hospital in the past, the existing pheasant university, the spearhead of public opinion points to the search engine Baidu again and again. But this time the watering incident, no one at the scene knew the reason. Li Yanhong, a fellow in Shanxi, may want to express some kind of dissatisfaction, but this is not enough to be a reason for Li Yanhong to be humiliated in public.
Perhaps the most frustrating is Baidu employees. A Baidu employee told reporters that the core keyword – industrial intelligence – was set internally before the conference. Not surprisingly, Robin’s speech will follow this logic to introduce AI to all walks of life. However, a conference organized by colleagues was not expected to be poured out by a bottle of water. The focus of the conference was completely gone.
Fortunately, Li Yanhong is still step by step, introducing the business. Through a small home and small on-board system, he conducted a live connection with Li Shufu, the chairman of Geely Group. Both parties announced that Baidu and Geely will reach a strategic cooperation. Li Shufu declared that starting from Geely Bo Yue Pro, Geely Automobile will be fully equipped with a small-scale vehicle-mounted interactive system.
Li Yanhong also invited Pu Weidong, deputy governor of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, to take the stage to introduce his “AI+Finance” innovation – “Digital People” customer service, hoping to provide one-to-one, personal digital virtual financial assistants for each user and customer.
Li Yanhong said that technology is Baidu’s belief, Baidu can also use technology to bring some different experiences to many people who usually lack attention.
On July 3, 2019, Beijing, Li Yanhong attended the Baidu AI Developer Conference in 2019
Li Yanhong also talked about public welfare projects. Since the launch of the AI tracing project, user-initiated photo comparisons have exceeded 200,000 times. Baidu has helped more than 6,700 families reunite. In the future, Baidu AI will cover 1600 rescue stations in the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
Li Yanhong concluded in the end: “Technology is better, this is the meaning of the existence of science and technology. It is also the meaning that every Baidu person pursues in pursuit of innovation day and night.”
Post-80s executives vs cash cattle business
The embarrassment left over by the splashing water incident was resolved after Baidu’s senior vice president Shen Shi’s “high emotional business executive” appeared.
In May of this year, Baidu search vice president, “money bag” was taken to Hailong, the reason is that Baidu search business transformation is not up to standard, after 80 executives shivering to take over.
After shaking up last year, he and the spokesperson Yang Zi used the Baidu App to make red envelopes and talk about the paragraphs, occupying the longest exposure time at Baidu World Congress. This time, he stayed close to the hot spot and handed the spokesperson to Dunren to demonstrate how to use Baidu APP to solve the problems of garbage sorting, Kobe and Sakuragi.
In showing how to use Baidu APP to identify various plants and objects, he opened a dressing cabinet, recognized the cosmetics brand and directly passed the small program price comparison, and the scene was applauded. The shaking and the homeopathic also shook a cleverness: “I know why the momentum of men’s applause is so big, because everyone’s usual business trip to make cosmetics is a problem, with Baidu APP can be solved.”
Inside Baidu, the most important contribution of tremor in recent years is the creation of information flow and small programs. However, his internal comments on him are generally concentrated on “high emotional intelligence” and are good at dealing with various contradictions and relationships. When leaving Hailong, the search business is in urgent need of transformation and innovation, but also to maintain a steady growth of the cash cow business, shaking hands need to prove their ability in business and product innovation.
In February of this year, Shen Xiao was arranged to participate in the Baidu search business in the form of “rotation”. Informed sources told reporters that this was when Baidu prepared to take off Hailong. Since then, Shift should be considering the strategic direction of the cash cow business. From the current point of view, Baidu has not launched new products, but focused on optimizing the promotion of Baidu APP, information flow and small programs.
As the pillar business of Baidu, over the past year or so, Baidu search has been repeatedly criticized for being affected by the misinformation of the 100-numbered screen and the college entrance examination. This time, I will focus on the AI Black Technology behind Baidu APP, emphasizing the accuracy of search. This is undoubtedly bringing traffic to Baidu APP and keeping the business alive.
The smart small program is undoubtedly the next new position for Baidu’s bet.
If Baidu first launched a smart applet in 2018, more attitudes were waiting and questioning. Since this year, more and more developers have begun to settle in. The small program sub-forum on July 3 was unusually hot. The rooms of several hundred people sat full, and the back row stood full of three-story walls. There were also long queues outside the door, which required security restrictions. Shen Guang revealed that Baidu’s small program already has a transcript that can be used. At present, there are more than 150,000 APPs in the small program, and the monthly users have exceeded 250 million.
A Baidu small program employee revealed that since the end of last year, the Baidu small program team has begun to expand. At present, there are already “big hundreds of people” teams, which occupy two floors of Baidu.
In order to stimulate developers, in March of this year, Baidu officially opened its advertising components, and small program developers put components into small programs. Baidu can distribute advertisements by type. As long as the relevant ad is clicked once, there will be a share. And this proportion is divided, Baidu only takes 10%, and the remaining 90% to developers. “Since April and May, the number of developers has surged.” He revealed that the current small program revenue is a three-digit increase, and one day, the small program’s revenue will exceed the search. “Because you see, many of the searches are now small programs.”
Baidu’s information flow is fully supporting small programs. According to the introduction of the research and development architect of Baidu Mobile Eco-Business Group, the information flow is the content of Baijia. The current exposure of small programs has reached 60% of the total penetration of information flow, and there are 1 billion times a day.
In order to attract developers to settle in, Baidu’s small program is constantly strengthening the attractiveness of helping companies realize. Muse said that Baidu will provide a targeted delivery platform on the distribution side, similar to a black box. Developers can conduct research on it and choose which customers to serve. In addition, it also provides advertising multi-scene adaptation, content delivery and other realizing functions.
One developer felt that Baidu’s small program was more of a basic function building last year, and this year is more of a commercial exploration. He believes that Baidu’s current basic framework capabilities are still weak. Many API interfaces have been imitating WeChat, and there is no social and fission activity to attract users. But now Baidu has begun to make full use of AI capabilities such as speech recognition to differentiate. “Even if you spend the same amount of money, Baidu will now give priority to small business applications.”
An advertiser told reporters that compared to WeChat’s small program with social as a link, Baidu’s small program is search-oriented, and the exposure is relatively high. For 2B companies, the accuracy of getting customers is higher. At present, the problem with the WeChat applet is that the head enterprise traffic aggregates and the long tail effect is serious, so many companies are willing to come to Baidu to try.
Previously, most developers’ wait-and-see attitudes also came from Baidu’s sway in search business in recent years. In 2018, Baidu also re-launched the bear’s paw and the direct number. The large search department has all the resources to support it, saying that it wants to import 80% of the traffic. However, after half a year, the network of bear bears was disbanded, and many companies, webmasters and developers spent a lot of manpower and time.
“One of the things that Baidu used to be criticized or worried about by everyone is whether we can continue to do it. After all, we have created many concepts. When we introduced smart small programs last year, the biggest worry for developers was that Baidu could do this. How long will it take me to toss you for a long time and do not do it for a long time.” After introspecting the smart small program forum on July 3, Shen said that the whole data shows that the growth of the past year is healthy. “There is no choice and no retreat. I hope that everyone can make more comments and criticize and build a new ecology together.”
In addition, the Baidu Mobile Eco-Business Group led by Shimao is also changing. According to the report of Lei Di.com, Shi Youcai, one of the members of Baidu’s startup team, also returned to Baidu in the near future, responsible for the mobile eco-business group sales system. Shi Youcai has been involved in Baidu channel construction for 10 years. He has served as sales director and vice president. He left Baidu in 2011 and transferred to Hailong as the vice president of Baidu’s commercial operation system. A Baidu insider said, “It is Baidu’s initiative to change the sales system of Hailong with history and talents. This handover has been fully prepared.”
This also marks the end of the old sea dragon era.
“Every product line here is to be realized”
“No one knows how AI makes money.” An Internet of Things CEO told reporters. This is also the reason why the outside world has been keeping a close eye on Baidu.
This year, Baidu’s appeal for the realization of AI technology is obviously stronger. Baidu employees in the venue and exhibition area will naturally mention the pressure of liquidation.
It was widely believed that the autonomous driving business would be a business that relied on huge investment in three to five years. However, in the autopilot exhibition area, a Baidu person pointed to the direction of the Weimar car on the spot, where there are already businesses that have begun to liquidate. In addition to the Weimar car with automatic parking technology, there is also the L4 passenger car that cooperates with the red flag.
In the July 3 release, Li Yanhong made it clear that the “last mile of freedom” of independent parking has begun to receive orders.
Compared with the L4 passenger car, the independent parking is obviously more appetizing to the OEM. However, from the live demonstration video, the automatic parking is still in its infancy, and the video demonstration is still a vehicle that tests back and forth between Baidu Building and Baidu Science and Technology Park every day. This white Lincoln car can park independently in the basement. Baidu has opened up experiences for some employees.
As the most ambitious technology story told by Baidu, the L4-class autonomous vehicles should also find ways to realize it. The latest news is that Baidu and FAW Red Flag have built China’s first L4 passenger car front loading line, and have started production. The first batch of dozens of passenger cars will be shipped to Changsha in the second half of the year. A Baidu product manager at the scene said that the local government in Changsha will pay for the auto-driving taxis. The price of the car’s software and hardware integration is estimated to be more than one million yuan.
After that, Baidu will participate in the operation and plan to build the country’s largest L4 self-driving taxi fleet. Li Zhenyu, vice president of Baidu and general manager of the Intelligent Driving Business Group, said that before the end of the year, Changsha citizens are expected to use the Apollo GO taxi service through Baidu’s small program. A Baidu person at the scene said, “Operating mode, you can refer to Waymo.”
However, American auto-driving star and Google’s Waymo are still in the free operation stage. How does Baidu’s L4-class self-driving taxi operate in the future, whether it is free or chargeable? There is no clear rules for both parties.
Technology is at hand, Baidu tries to catch all the cuts that can be realized, and even the fine meat on the heron’s feet can’t be let go. For example, in the Apollo exhibition area, a set of autopilot development kits assembled from iron frames, chassis and lidar is priced at $153,000. The on-site business staff told reporters that the business started six months ago and set up a team. The target group is universities and developers. More than 10 sets have been shipped in less than a month, and more than 30 sets are on the production line.
If the most “unreliable” autopilot business is seized every opportunity to realize, then in the other sections of the National Convention Center, the importance of realizing it is even more important.
Jing Hao also brings Baidu intelligent voice in the commercialization of the three exploration directions: small VIP members, paid skills and brand skills
A Baidu Smart Cloud employee said that their KPI this year has tripled on the basis of last year’s revenue. A smart cloud employee pointed to the products in the booth and said: “You see, every product line of Smart Cloud is to be realized, whether it is public cloud, robot or intelligent customer service.”
Yin Shiming, vice president of Baidu and general manager of Baidu Cloud, said that smart cloud is the base of Baidu AI technology and the carrier of AI’s accelerated growth in China.
Not far from the intelligent cloud exhibition area, the Baidu brain that provided the “ammunition” to the Baidu business department was originally a loose R&D department, and it also emphasized the landing. A partner who is a smart container said that Baidu’s brain will consider the landing of its partners. At the same time, he felt that the resources given by Baidu’s brain were tightening. When supporting the partners, he began to pay attention to the actual results, not as loose as before.
At least the algorithm is getting less and less valuable. Baidu chip department employees said that this is also the original intention of their chips, and it must be soft and hard. The Kunlun chip released by Baidu last year is expected to be applied in the fourth quarter of this year, and the Vision GPU will be released again.
Another line of Baidu AI, the human-machine dialogue interaction technology, which is a small assistant, also faces the challenge of realizing it. The staff of a small smart speaker admitted that he felt that the whole company is now “somewhat fascinated” about the realization of the speaker. Nowadays, various paths are being tried. It is imperative that the user be trained first. Users have, traffic has, the ecology can be done, membership fees, content payment, advertising, APP pre-installed charges and other monetization modes can only be able to run, you have the confidence to share with the application like the US group take-out. He admitted that he was changing his life habits during the process of making small speakers.
Therefore, Baidu’s vice president and general manager of the Smart Life Division, Jing Hao, has always been doing a large-scale approach without first considering realizing cash. But this stage of burning money will gradually stop one day.
“As a non-profitable department, there is always anxiety in the company.” An IoT entrepreneur who has business dealings with Baidu told reporters that he communicated with Baidu and found that they were most worried about finding a breakthrough. The company did not dare to burn down.
In the expansion of the smart speaker market, Baidu and Ali play the same, are the money logic to subsidize, do large-scale and traffic Internet logic. But now Ali Tianmao Elf did not issue a subsidy for this year’s 618, which may be a signal.
In this case, the user’s relevant numbers become very important. At the conference on July 3, Jing Hao announced that the number of smart devices activated by the small assistants has exceeded 400 million, and the activation amount exceeds 800%. This does not include the number of built-in small assistants of Baidu’s APP. In June 2019, the number of monthly interactions of the small assistants exceeded 3.6 billion.
However, Jing Hao also brings Baidu Smart Voice’s three exploration directions in the commercial ecology: small VIP members, paid skills and brand skills.
It is said that a paid member with a small amount of 99 yuan has been online for one month, and the number of members has increased by 10 times, but the person in charge of commercialization has not given a specific number of people to pay. At present, when you push a VIP member for a small degree, you choose to bind with other advantageous content partners to become a joint member. For example, a VIP member can enjoy 2,000 yuan of FM paid content, and a member jointly launched with iQiyi is a member of the iQiyi price, and enjoys all the rights of a small member. The brand skill is advertising, which is also the path Baidu is trying.
People in the Baidu exhibition area said that the current screened speakers bear the burden of commercial pioneers, and the screenless speakers are still the main free service because of operational considerations.
The above-mentioned insiders believe that although Baidu’s market sales and real landing ability are somewhat lacking, it is good to always have the technological advantage. If it can persist in investing and break the current AI technology bottleneck, it is hopeful to achieve the overtaking of other giants. For example, his participation in this conference is the “full duplex free wake-up ability” released in the Baidu smart speaker display. The multi-round dialogue that avoids awakening has always been a pain point in the industry. If Baidu can solve this problem, not just display it, it will have a huge boost to the industry. It is reported that this function will be implemented on two smart speakers with screens.
“If this (AI) can be done, it depends on Li Yanhong’s determination.”