Bad Baidu boffin boss banished for bypassing bot body's bylaws

Chinese biz fires team leader after competition banishment

A researcher from Baidu has been fired after an internal inquiry blamed him for getting the company to be disqualified from a standardised and independent Artificial Intelligence test.

Baidu was disqualified from the ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge (ILSVRC), despite achieving the best score, after subverting the organisers' testing policy by creating and using multiple accounts to run more evaluations every week than their competitors. An updated note identifies this group as Baidu.

At the time the company apologised for the mistake and promised to continue to provide the ILSVRC community with relevant updates as it learned more about what happened.

It turns out that this was more than hot air, from a company which had competed alongside Facebook's FART.

A statement on Baidu's official blog explains that the company "immediately" launched its own inquiry following its disqualification.

This week, we concluded the inquiry.

We found that a team leader had directed junior engineers to submit more than two submissions per week, a breach of the current ImageNet rules.

Any action that runs counter to the highest standards of academic and scientific integrity, no matter how large or small, is unacceptable to us and does not reflect the culture of our company.

We have zero tolerance for such behavior and have terminated the team leader’s employment.

That team leader has been identified by The New York Times as Wen Ru, who they claim "pioneered the use of specialized graphics processors for machine learning applications such as computer vision and speech."

Baidu states that it has put in place "new company-wide policies to ensure that teams and individuals understand and adhere to the highest standards."

The new policies include employee training sessions and the establishment of a scientific advisory panel that will serve as a resource to our worldwide engineering teams moving forward." ®

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