Baidu's self-driving car at an exhibition in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.
(ECNS) -- Robin Li, CEO of founder of search engine giant Baidu, said the rapid rise of artificial intelligence (AI) will diminish the mobile Internet's dominance due to changes in our life style.
Mobile phones will exist for a long time but there would be fewer opportunities for the mobile Internet since AI-centric thinking is required in the new era, Li said at an AI forum in Tianjin.
"From Think Mobile to Think AI, we need to free ourselves from pure software and consider the combination of AI software and hardware," Li explained.
World economic growth in the past 100 years relied on production progress, followed by IT breakthroughs over the past four decades, he said. He predicted that AI will be the next big thing and self-driving cars a reality around 2021.
Baidu has declared its new mission in May 2017 -- to use technology to make a complex world more simple, particularly through extensive and accelerated use of AI, according to Li.
Kai-Fu Lee, an influential venture capitalist and former president of Google China, once said AI would be the area with the most unicorns, or rather startup companies valued at over billion.
But the Baidu CEO gave a different opinion, saying the AI age would see closer cooperation between companies in future development.
AI has been rapidly applied in various contexts, from airport check-in to finding missing people. Insiders said the next 30 to 50 years would see economies driven by development of AI innovations.
In April, Baidu announced it succeeded in using artificial intelligence to reconnect a man with his family 27 years after he was abducted.