Baidu has opened a new artificial intelligence (AI) lab in Silicon Valley to compete with its tech rivals in China and the U.S.
Chinese Internet search giant Baidu has extended its technology arm to the U.S., by investing around $300 million in a new research and development (R&D) center in Sunnyvale, California.
The Silicon Valley Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab, along with the Beijing Deep Learning Lab (formerly known as the Institute of Deep Learning), and the Beijing Big Data Lab, will be led by Baidu's new chief scientist Andrew Ng. Ng was founder of Google’s deep-learning project, director of Stanford’s artificial intelligence lab, and a co-founder of massive open online course (MOOC) provider Coursera.
Baidu's move highlights the pace of global growth for Chinese Internet companies, with some of its competitors already establishing setups within the U.S. For example, domestic rival Alibaba has burrowed its way into the Silicon Valley investment circles, snapping up large stakes and board seats in fast-growing start-ups. One can only presume that the company is gearing up to compete with the likes of Amazon or eBay on their home turf.
The predominant focus for Baidu's AI lab will be deep learning - the smarter use of data to provide more insightful consumer experiences. Deep learning is a new area that tech companies are moving into. In January of this year, Google acquired London-based start-up DeepMind which had a large concentration of researchers in deep learning. Meanwhile, Facebook recruited a group of experts last September to work on this technology.
Although deep learning has become a buzzword in technology, it is a field where researchers are in short supply. According to Yoshua Bengio, an AI researcher at the University of Montreal, there are only around 50 experts worldwide in deep learning.
It is still unclear whether or not Baidu's move into the deep learning arena will boost revenues for the company. One thing for sure, though, is that the proliferation of data will definitely give it the competitive edge it needs to keep up with its Google-like rivals.
Image via Shutterstock.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!
Yuyu Chen is a junior reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
May 6, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT