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.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!
Yuyu Chen is an Editorial Intern 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.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
September 17, 2014
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT