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对话 MiniMax 闫俊杰:AGI 不是大杀器,是普通人每天用的产品

🌈 Abstract

The article profiles MiniMax, a leading Chinese large language model (LLM) startup, and its founder Yanjunjie. It discusses MiniMax's technology roadmap, product strategy, and Yanjunjie's perspective on the AI industry in China.

🙋 Q&A

[01] MiniMax's Founding and AGI Belief

1. What was Yanjunjie's motivation for founding MiniMax before the release of ChatGPT? Yanjunjie founded MiniMax in late 2021, before the release of ChatGPT and when OpenAI was not very active. At that time, AGI was a huge non-consensus in China, and Yanjunjie believed in the long-term progress of AGI technology.

2. How did Yanjunjie's previous experience at Sensetime shape his approach to building MiniMax? Yanjunjie's experience at Sensetime, where he held roles like VP and CTO, gave him confidence in pursuing a technology-first approach and building a large-scale AI product from the start, rather than just focusing on technology.

[02] MiniMax's Technology Roadmap

1. Why did MiniMax focus on developing a Mixture-of-Experts (MoE) model instead of iterating on dense models like other Chinese companies? Yanjunjie believed that to serve hundreds of millions or even billions of users in the future, MoE models are necessary, as the cost and latency of generating tokens with dense models would be unacceptable and lead to system collapse.

2. How did MiniMax overcome the challenges in developing their MoE model? MiniMax faced significant challenges and failures in developing their MoE model, but Yanjunjie sees these as opportunities to improve their experimental methods, network structures, and overall R&D efficiency rather than just the MoE technology itself.

[03] MiniMax's Product Strategy

1. Why did MiniMax choose to focus on building consumer-facing products from the start, rather than just providing a technology platform? Yanjunjie believes that for an independent AI startup to grow, it must develop both strong technology and strong products that can reach a massive user base. He sees this as the only path for survival.

2. How does MiniMax balance the development of its technology and products? MiniMax has taken a "technology-driven" approach, rapidly iterating on multiple consumer-facing products to better understand user needs and drive improvements in its underlying models. Yanjunjie sees this as crucial, as even the best technology will not succeed without the right products.

[04] Talent and Organization

1. What are the key principles Yanjunjie tries to instill in MiniMax's organizational culture? Yanjunjie emphasizes avoiding shortcuts, keeping "user-in-the-loop", and maintaining a technology-driven mindset as core principles for MiniMax's culture and growth.

2. How does Yanjunjie approach talent management and building a strong R&D team at MiniMax? Yanjunjie believes that optimizing the organization as a "function" to rapidly iterate and learn is key, rather than just focusing on recruiting top individual talent. He aims to build a scientific, data-driven culture to drive continuous improvement.

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