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And he revolutionized this field, known as artificial intelligence, by adopting graphics chips meant for video games.
To push the boundaries of artificial intelligence further, one of the world's most renowned researchers in the field says many more humans need to get involved.
Abbeel says he once crashed a ,000 helicopter drone, but Ng brushed it off.'Andrew was always like, 'If these things are too simple, everybody else could do them.''Andrew Ng poses at his office in Palo Alto, Calif.
That turned out to be a task eminently suited for a different class of chips called graphics processing units, or GPUs.
So when graphics chip maker Nvidia opened up its GPUs for general purposes beyond video games in 2007, Ng jumped on the technology.
His Stanford team began publishing papers on the technique a year later, speeding up machine learning by as much as 70 times.
Geoffrey Hinton, whose University of Toronto team wowed peers by using a neural network to win the prestigious Image Net competition in 2012, credits Ng with persuading him to use the technique.
He once said famously that the only job that might not be changed is his hairdresser's - to which a friend of his responded that in fact, she could get a robot to do his hair.