張亞勤寄語哥倫比亞大學2020年畢業生:引領未知時代
2020年05月20日11:44
美國藝術與科學院院士、百度前總裁、清華大學智能科學講席教授張亞勤
美國藝術與科學院院士、百度前總裁、清華大學智能科學講席教授張亞勤

  新浪科技訊 5月20日上午消息,5月18日,人工智能和數字視頻的世界級科學家和企業家,美國藝術與科學院院士、百度前總裁、清華大學智能科學講席教授張亞勤博士,在哥倫比亞大學工學院的畢業典禮上發表了主題演講。

  張亞勤稱,面對全球疫情,技術成為最關鍵的變革力量,高速網絡、軟件和人工智能等基礎技術塑造我們生活、學習、工作和娛樂方式。他提到:“隨著世界進入一個充滿挑戰和不確定性的新階段,年輕工程師迎來了響應歷史使命的決定性時刻,不僅要以技術創新,還要以同理心、勇氣和人文主義精神來迎接使命。”

  哥倫比亞大學工程學院院長瑪麗·博伊斯(Mary C. Boyce)表示:“我們很高興能請到張亞勤博士(Dr. Ya-Qin Zhang)給我們的畢業生做演講,以此來紀念這一重要的里程碑。”她談到:“我們的畢業生將進入一個變化的世界,他們也將成為時代變化的締造者。學生們將受益張亞勤博士的觀點,其非凡職業道路也將鼓舞學生們。”

  以下為百度前總裁、清華大學智能科學講席教授張亞勤在2020年哥倫比亞大學工程學院畢業典禮上的致辭全文:

  尊敬的Bollinger校長, Boyce院長,家長們,同學們,大家好。

  我很榮幸能夠在這個非常時期,以特殊的形式出席這次特別的典禮。首先,恭喜2020屆畢業生,對你們取得的傑出成就表示衷心祝賀。你們做到了!

  我也是一名哥倫比亞大學的學生家長。我的兒子現在哥大工學院二年級學生,我女兒是哥大商學院2020屆的畢業生。我想與所有家長分享這份難以言表的喜悅和驕傲,我們都做到了!

  這無疑是我們有生記憶以來最具挑戰性和不確定性的一個時期。

  我們不僅看到了科技創新的極速進步和第四次工業革命的巨大力量,人工智能、納米技術、量子計算機和5G通信等等技術不斷突破。

  我們還目睹了百年一遇的流行疾病在全球範圍內帶來的突發性破壞和災難性影響,對我們的社會基礎、經濟結構和生活方式帶來挑戰。

  對於那些學習過熱力學第二定律的人來說,“熵”這個術語一定不陌生,它表示動態系統中的混沌程度(Chaos)。信息理論的創始者Claud Shannon將這一概念擴展到了信息的不確定性和隨機性。可以說,2020屆畢業生是被賦予“熵”值最高的一屆。未來的不可預測和混沌程度都是前所未有的。對你們如此,對我們所有人也是如此。

  與你們的交流令我回想起我的學生時代和年輕時的工程師工作經曆。1990年畢業後,我的第一份工作是開發算法,壓縮圖像和視頻,完成遠程傳輸, 對國際標準MPEG和H.26x做出一點小貢獻: MPEG和H.26x也是如今Netflix、YouTube、Skype和Zoom等流行視頻應用程式的重要基礎。在過去的三十年里,我有幸一直在激動人心的創新技術中徜徉, HDTV、自動駕駛、人工智能和雲計算等等。在這一路走來,收穫的不僅是無窮的樂趣,也有超凡的艱辛。我想跟同學們分享我的三個體會:

  1)在數據爆炸和不斷變化的世界中,成為具備強適應能力的學習者。在瞬息萬變的技術行業中,五年前學到的知識大多已無用處。你們在哥倫比亞大學中學習到最有價值的是學習新知的能力,是從繁雜噪音中分別信號的能力,是從眾多數據中提取“熵”的能力。我有一個行之有效的習慣,每天早上花10分鍾,找出對我而言最新的發現或最重要的3件事情,當天來學習。

  2) 要擁有獨特的觀點和視角。當你們進入現實世界,會自然而然的開始被“打磨”,去遵循已有的趨勢,融入他人。我懇請你們保持自己的尖銳、棱角和與眾不同。當我與年輕工程師面聊時,我期待他們的觀點、他們的“熵”、他們鮮活的想法,這些遠比圓滑、打磨、“正確”要重要得多。

  3) 無論做什麼事情,要秉承道德和人性。兩千多年前,偉大的希臘思想家蘇格拉底將道德作為追求真理的靈魂。大約同一時期,偉大的中國哲學家孔子把人性的“仁義”作為社會結構的基礎。在截然不同的文化下,兩位偉大思想家所見略同,並非巧合。今天,當我們面臨更多選擇、迷茫和誘惑時,這一點就變得更加重要。技術是中立的,但創新者是有使命的。技術是工具,但技術人員是為人類服務的。院長Mary Boyce對哥倫比亞工學院提出的願景“技術以人為本”是工程學的核心,也是我們工程師和技術人員的宗旨。

  年輕的朋友們,對你們而言,這是一個決定性的時刻,請盡情的用你們的才華、激情和創新,更用你們的同理心,勇氣和人性,去展現,去閃耀,響應使命的召喚!

  再次恭喜你們,2020屆畢業生!

  張亞勤哥倫比亞大學畢業典禮演講英文原文:

  Leading in times of uncertainty

  President Bollinger, Dean Boyce, Parents and Students:

  I am honored to be here at this very special occasion, at a very special time, in the most special form。 First, a big congratulation to the class of 2020 for your remarkable accomplishments。 You made it!

  I am also a proud parent of Columbia。 My son is a rising junior at the engineering school, and my daughter is also a class 2020 for the business school。 I share the immense joy and incredible pride with all the parents, we all made it too!

  This is undoubtedly the most challenging and uncertain time in our living memory。

  We see the staggering pace of innovation and the transformative power of the fourth industrial revolution, with technology breakthroughs such as artificial intelligence, nano-technology, quantum computing, and 5G advanced communications。

  We also see the sudden disruption and catastrophic impact of the once-in-a-century pandemic at a global scale that challenges the very foundation of our social fabric, economic structure, and life style。

  For those of you who have learned the 2nd law of thermodynamics, you know the term “entropy”, which represents degree of chaos in a dynamic system。 Claud Shannon, the founding father of information theory, extended this notion to measure information uncertainty and randomness。 It’s fair to say that the Class of 2020 is the one that is “given” the highest entropy。 The level of unpredictability and chaos is unprecedented for you -- and for all of us。

  Talking with you reminds me of my early years as a student and young engineer。 My first job after graduation in 1990 was developing algorithms to compress imagery and video for remote transmission, essentially to extract the maximum entropy。 The work eventually contributed in a small way to a set of international standards known as MPEG and H.26x, the base for today’s popular video applications used in Netflix, YouTube, Skype and Zoom。 Over last three decades, I had the distinct opportunity to work on some of the most exciting technologies such as HDTV, autonomous driving, AI, and cloud computing。 I have had the wildest ride with not only a great deal of fun, but also extraordinary hardship along the way。 Let me share with you three of my personal learnings:

  1) Be an adaptive learner in the world of data explosion and constant change。 In today’s fast changing technology industry, most of what you learned five years ago is irrelevant。 The most valuable skill you’ve gained at Columbia is the ability to learn new things, to discern the signal from the noise, and to extract entropy from the ocean of data。 One routine I find particularly helpful is to commit just 10 minutes each morning and prioritize 3 things – anything new and important to me – to learn that day。

  2) Have a unique point of view and perspective。 When you get into the real world, there is a natural tendency to become “polished”, to follow existing trends, and to blend in with the rest。

  I ASK you to maintain your sharpness, your edge, and your differences。 When I interview people, particularly young engineers, I look for their point of view, their entropy, and their flash of ideas, which to me is far more important than being smooth, polished or “correct”。

  3) Hold Ethics and humanity at the heart of what you do。 Over 2000 years ago, the great Greek thinker Sock-ruh-tease put ethics as the soul for the pursuit of truth。 Around the same time, the great Chinese philosopher Confucius placed “Renyi”, which essentially means humanity, as the foundation for social structure。 It is no coincidence that two of the greatest minds from vastly different cultures had the same idea。 This has become even more critical today as we all face more choices, confusion, and temptations。 Technology is neutral, but innovators have purpose。 Engineering is a tool, but engineers serve humanity。 “Engineering for Humanity”, the vision set by Dean Mary Boyce for Columbia engineering is the very core of engineering and what engineers are all about。

  My young friends, this is the defining moment for you, for you to rise, to shine and answer the historic call of duty, with not only your talent, spark and innovations, but also compassion, courage and humanity。

  Congratulations again, Class 2020 !

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