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Andrew Ng hates paranoid androids, and other fun facts
Source: RYAN NAKASHIMA




What does artificial intelligence researcher Andrew Ng have in common with a “very depressed robot” from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? Both have huge brains.

Here are some fun facts about the man who connected graphics chips to neural networks and has taught millions of artificial intelligence students online.

HE NAMED GOOGLE BRAIN

Google’s deep-learning unit was originally called “Project Marvin” — a possible reference to a morose and paranoid android with a “brain the size of a planet” from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Ng didn’t like the association with “this very depressed robot,” he says, so he cut to the chase and changed the name to Google Brain.

A SMALL WEDDING

Ng met his roboticist wife, Carol Reiley, at a robotics conference in Kobe, Japan. They married in 2014 in Carmel, California, in a small ceremony. Ng says Reiley wanted to save money in order to invest in their future — they even got their wedding bands made on a 3-D printer. And instead of a big ceremony, she put $50,000 in Drive.ai, the autonomous driving company she co-founded and leads as president. In its last funding round, the company raised $50 million.

GUESSING GAMES, COMPUTER VERSION

One of Ng’s first computer programs tried to guess a number the user was thinking of. Based simply on the responses “higher” or “lower,” the computer could guess correctly after no more than seven questions.

GUESSING GAME, ACCENT VERSION

“Americans tend to think I sound slightly British and the Brits think I sound horribly American,” Ng says. “According to my mother, I just mumble a lot.”

HE LIKES BLUE SHIRTS

He buys blue button-down shirts 10 at a time from Nordstrom’s online. “I just don’t want to think about it every morning. There’s enough things that I need to decide on every day.”



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