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这个叫侯赛因的人,或将引领人工智能的未来

admin | 2019-03-14 10:01 浏览数:

SparkCognition的创始人阿米尔·侯赛因收藏了很多老式电脑。图片来源:Photograph by Phil Kline for Fortune

阿米尔·侯赛因旗下的公司SparkCognition总部位于美国得州奥斯汀,正努力开创人工智能的未来,涵盖从战场到发电厂各种领域。侯赛因来自巴基斯坦,4岁就爱上了计算机,现在他是IBM人工智能项目沃森的顾问委员会创始成员,也是一位高产的发明家,获得了27项美国专利,还有许多专利正在申请中。

我在巴基斯坦拉合尔长大,父亲是商人和投资人,母亲是教师。我4岁时第一次接触电脑:一台Commodore 64。我发现自己能控制屏幕上显示的内容,简直大开眼界。然后我回到房间,拆开一些玩具加上纸板,做了个我称之为电脑的装置。当时妈妈就知道我上瘾了。

我读到八年级就感觉学不到什么,于是去说服校长和父亲我已经准备好继续深造。然后我离开学校开始写软件,在本地卖了几百美元。

我15岁上大学,17岁从拉合尔旁遮普计算机科学研究所获得了第一个计算机科学学士学位。我一直在研究世界各地的实验室,发现美国得州奥斯汀有个叫分布式多媒体计算实验室(DMCL)的实验室正在研究下一代网络技术。我想去那里工作。

1996年,我带着两个行李箱飞往奥斯汀。没有人认识我。对我来说,目标就是要去实验室工作,但所有人都嫌我太年轻。我在奥斯汀的得克萨斯大学获得了第二个计算机科学学士学位,同时争取到在DMCL工作的机会。

第一个星期我就遭了劫。当时我在公寓洗衣服,钱包里是打算买教材的200美元,一个家伙抢过钱跑了。我跑进商店把一张20美元的钞票换成硬币,然后用公用电话给妈妈打电话。还没开口我就突然想到,“告诉她又怎样,她能做什么?我深吸一口气,笑了笑,调整了心情。”本来打算哭诉一番,但我告诉妈妈一切都很好。

1999年年底,我在攻读博士学位时退学创办了第一家初创公司Kurion。我从来不会满足于提出想法然后写下来,我喜欢把想法变成实践,做出产品并应用,所以我成了企业家。我花了一点信用卡额度购买电脑部件,造出两台服务器安装高速DSL,就在公寓里经营公司。2001年,Kurion被当时最大的数字内容联合公司Isyndicate收购。

“9·11”事件之后,我过得非常艰难。原来的友好世界一去不复返。身为移民意味着要面对很多不信任。立法上有些变化,旅行要求变严格了,进出美国的通关程序也更繁琐。当时我遭到很多歧视,都是些非常痛苦的回忆,但我相信要坚持努力。现在我跟许多国防部的人合作,不会沉浸在过去。

2002年,我娶了大学时的女朋友扎伊布。那一年,我创立的第二家公司InfraManage并入了ClearCube Technology,InfraManage的业务是为大型安全计算进行系统管理。

SparkCognition是我的第三家公司。从商业角度来看,刚开始人们对人工智能有很多怀疑。但在2012年左右,我感觉到随着算法和计算机改进,情况发生了变化。迈克尔·戴尔通过个人旗下的MSD Capital fund成为我的第一位投资者。现在,波音、CME Ventures、Verizon Ventures和其他许多公司都加入投资。我们融到了7250万美元,客户包括全球最大的一些公司。

SparkCognition主要将综合智能应用于最关键的大规模应用。距离来说,我们与波音公司合作,构建未来的航空航天操作系统,可以实现飞行汽车等构想。同时也跟三菱日立电力系统合作建造世界上第一座全自动发电厂。

公司跟美国军方也有合作,研究在战场上如何用人工智能挽救生命。将人工智能应用于军事系统时,必须深入思考道德和合法性,同时也要展现卓越的能力。这项挑战非常艰巨。我们正与最强大的势力合作,充分实现人工智能的潜力。

创业是人们自愿从事最困难的事情之一。创业会考验婚姻和亲子关系,也考验身体、情绪和承压水平。我很少能踏实地睡整晚,但我做每件事都不瞒着家人。我向家人介绍脑海里的想法、分享做事的理由、为什么我如此认真地打造未来,以及其中涉及的责任。我不清楚什么叫工作和生活的平衡,因为对我来说二者是一回事。工作与生活没有界限,只有现实存在,还有一步一个脚印向前走。(财富中文网)

本文另一版本发表于2019年3月出版的《财富》杂志,标题为《有心的人工智能》。

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

Amir Husain’s Austin-based SparkCognition is working on the future of A.I., covering everything from the battlefield to power plants. A boy from Pakistan who fell in love with computers at age 4, Husain is now a founding member of the board of advisers for IBM Watson and a prolific inventor, with 27 U.S. patents awarded and many more pending.

I grew up in Lahore, Pakistan, where my father was a businessman and an investor, and my mother was an educator. When I was 4 years old, I had my first -experience with a computer: a Commodore 64. It blew my mind that you could control what showed up on the screen. Afterward, I went to my room, grabbed some toys, disassembled them, added cardboard, and made a contraption that I called a computer. My mom knew then that I was hooked.

By the time I was in eighth grade, I was bored at school. I convinced the principal and my father that I was ready to move on. So I left school and wrote software, making a few hundred dollars selling it locally.

I started college at age 15 and got my first bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Punjab Institute of Computer Science in Lahore at 17. I’d been looking at laboratories all over the world, and there was one in Austin called Distributed Multimedia Computing Laboratory [DMCL] that was working on next–generation technologies for the web. That’s where I wanted to work.

So in 1996, I flew to Austin with two suitcases. No one knew who I was. For me, it was about getting to that lab, but everyone said I was too young. So I got a second bachelor’s in computer science at the University of Texas at Austin and talked my way into a job at DMCL at the same time.

Within the first week, I got mugged. I was doing laundry at my apartment and had $200 in my wallet, intending to purchase textbooks, when a guy ran off with the money. I ran into a store, changed a $20 bill into quarters, and called my mom from a pay phone. Before I could tell her anything, the thought came, “What can she do? Suck it up, smile, and get through it.” I was about to cry but told her everything was fine.

In late 1999, I was working toward my Ph.D. when I dropped out to launch my first startup, Kurion. I’ve never been satisfied just coming up with an idea and writing about it. I want to take the idea, produce it, and apply it, so I became an entrepreneur. I spent my meager credit card limits on purchasing computer parts to build two servers and install high-speed DSL. I ran the company out of my apartment. Kurion was purchased in 2001 by iSyndicate, the largest digital content syndication company back then.

It became a very trying time after 9/11. The world flipped on its head. Just being an immigrant meant facing a lot of mistrust. There were many legislative changes and travel requirements that created a process of clearances to come to and go out of the United States. I faced a lot of discrimination then. They’re very painful memories, but I believe in moving on. I work alongside many people at the Department of Defense now and don’t dwell on it.

In 2002, I married my college sweetheart, Zaib. My second company, Inframanage, a systems management company for large-scale secure computing, merged into ClearCube Technology that year.

SparkCognition became my third company. From a business standpoint, there was a lot of skepticism about artificial intelligence at first. But around 2012, I felt that things were changing with improvements in algorithms and computers. Michael Dell became my first investor through his personal MSD Capital fund. Now -Boeing, CME Ventures, Verizon Ventures, and numerous others have become investors. We have raised $72.5 million and serve some of the largest companies in the world.

SparkCognition is applying synthetic intelligence to the most critical, large-scale applications. For example, we are working with Boeing to build the aerospace operating system of the future that will enable flying cars and beyond. We’re working with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems to build the world’s first autonomous power plant.

We’re working with the U.S. military on how A.I. can be used to save lives on the battlefield. In applying A.I. to military systems, one has to think deeply about ethics and legality while enabling superior capability; it’s a tough challenge. We’re working with the largest players to make the potential of A.I. real.

A startup is one of the most difficult things you can voluntarily do. It tests your marriage, your relationship with your children, physical stamina, emotional intelligence, and stress levels. I rarely get a full night’s sleep, but I include my family in everything I do. I open -every idea in my mind to them, sharing why I’m doing this, why I have a serious commitment to building the future, and the responsibilities involved in that. I don’t know what work/life balance is because for me, it’s all one thing. There’s no work or life—there is only existence and putting one foot in front of the other.

A version of this article appears in the March 2019 issue of Fortune with the headline “A.I. With Heart.”

最佳建议:

想清楚最重要的是什么,那些事会分散注意力。

我经历过别人窃取知识产权,也有同事带着大客户离职,但我没有追究,因为我浪费不起时间。分心是严重的拖累,因为科技发展太快了。如果死在一座山上,可能就没有机会爬另一座山。

克服恐惧。

恐惧会抑制创造力。如果以前我能掌握现在的知识,早就下大赌注了。我一直在努力克服。

Best Advice:

Define what is important and what is a distraction.

I’ve experienced people stealing intellectual property and people walking away with key customers, but I didn’t go after them because I couldn’t afford it. Distractions will sink you because technology moves so fast. If you die on one hill, there may not be another hill to climb.

Overcome your fears.

Fear puts a damper on creativity. If I knew back then what I know now, I would’ve made bigger bets sooner. I constantly strive to work on that.

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