AI is the Transformative Force Revolutionizing Future Human Development Over the Next 40 Years, Says Baidu CEO Robin Li at WAIC 2021

  • Baidu’s chief says technological advancements can spur the gradual restoration of humanity to become a low-carbon society
  • The importance of AI extends beyond economic growth, its true contribution towards society is the creation of social value
  • Baidu to expand its Apollo Go robotaxi ride-hailing services and roll out new species robo-vehicle in the next two to three years

SHANGHAI, July 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —  Robin Li, the Co-founder and CEO of Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU and HKEX:9888), today said that AI will undoubtedly become the transformative force revolutionizing future human development over the next 40 years during his keynote speech at the annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC). Li highlighted that the intelligent transformation ushered by AI towards industries and societies is to ultimately fulfil the needs of people, proclaiming that technology is meaningful only if it serves humanity through the creation of more value and contributing towards society.

Baidu CEO Robin Li discusses the social value of AI during a keynote speech at the WAIC
Baidu CEO Robin Li discusses the social value of AI during a keynote speech at the WAIC

In light of this year’s WAIC theme, "Intelligent Connectivity, Inspirational Cities", Li contended that the value of AI to human society extends far beyond economic growth, stating his belief that the social value of AI deeply correlates with the human desire for a better life. The annual event was held at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, aiming to promote the exchange of global AI innovation and build a world-class industrial cluster of AI.  

"Baidu’s approach towards AI technology has always revolved around delivering equitable outcomes by making technology more accessible, providing freedom and possibilities for all," Li said.

Some parts of the world are facing an aging population issue; China’s elderly population is slated to exceed 300 million residents, creating a new challenge that will impact the country’s economic growth, social security, public services and more, Li said in his speech. In this regard, AI solutions are proven to be highly dependable in providing health monitoring, rehabilitation care, emergency aid, emotional support and meal or transport assistance for elders.

Natural language processing (NLP), multi-modal interactive AI assistant and computer vision capabilities have enabled Xiaodu – Baidu’s signature smart display product – to provide elders with immediate assistance and virtual companionship around the clock, improving their quality of life greatly while remotely reassuring family members of their healthy and safety. 

In Li’s view, the application of AI technology is reshaping the landscape of industries to become the transformative force revolutionizing future human development over the next 40 years. Baidu’s multi-faceted AI solutions are collectively addressing the socio-economic and environmental challenges faced by the modern world, to ultimately accomplish better living and sustain high-quality development for all of mankind.

"Baidu has been preparing for many years to embrace this digital revolution. Our advanced autonomous driving technology has positioned us as a global leader of the smart transportation industry. Not long ago, we launched Apollo Moon, the newest generation of Baidu’s robotaxis that aims to create a fully autonomous ride-hailing service that will be more affordable than existing vehicle-for-hire platforms. Baidu plans to expand its robotaxi ride-hailing services across 30 cities in China in two to three years to serve a wider range of users. Baidu is also rapidly developing a new intelligent vehicle, and we estimate that everyone will be able to experience the arrival of new species, ‘robo-vehicles’, in two to three years," he added.   

Li also spoke about the impactful role Baidu Apollo has been playing as many Chinese cities continue to construct world-class intelligent traffic systems. Smart transportation solutions have been shown to facilitate a 15% improvement in traffic efficiency, which translates into a 2.4% GDP growth, demonstrating considerable commercial value to society.

This increase in efficiency can also reduce carbon emissions and curb the negative impact of climate change. By implementing smart transportation systems through intelligent vehicles and roads, Baidu is revolutionizing the industry by promoting safer and greener travel, fostering a lower carbon lifestyle and creating immense social value.

Owing to the rapid technological advancement in recent years, AI can empower the gradual restoration of humanity to become a low-carbon society. In line with its vision to facilitate the low carbon transition in society for long-term sustainable development, Baidu has announced its goal to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2030. After 2030, Baidu will collaborate with its ecological partners to work towards becoming carbon negative, joining hands to further China’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060 and to limit the global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

About Baidu

Founded in 2000, Baidu’s mission is to make the complicated world simpler through technology. Baidu is a leading AI company with strong Internet foundation. Baidu is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "BIDU", and on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code "9888". Currently, one ADS represents eight Class A ordinary shares.


Vince is a tech geek, has a passion for sharing knowledge and loves to tinker with different gadgets. Whenever he gets a new gadget he just open the box and figure out how the gadget works without reading the manual.

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