Baidu opens new center for artificial intelligence research in US

Chinese search giant Baidu to set up a new research center in Silicon Valley. About two hundred scientists will work at the center who will work on artificial intelligence, it was announced Friday.

Baidu, which operates China’s leading search engine, is investing $300 million in the new research center. Andrew Ng, a Stanford professor who specializes in applying neuroscience to artificial intelligence systems, will lead the center, according to The Wall Street Journal. Previously, Ng was closely involved in the Google X lab, where the internet giant secretly works on new products.

Baidu employees in the research center will mainly conduct research into artificial intelligence and deep learning, in which advanced algorithms are developed for, for example, image and speech recognition. New concepts, such as Google Glass and autonomous cars, also rely heavily on such algorithms. “It’s an old stereotype that other countries copy technology from American companies,” Ng told The Wall Street Journal. “There are plenty of things Baidu has done that are not yet known to the rest of the world.”

Baidu has already rolled out a speech recognition system for its search engine in China. Researchers from the Chinese internet company are also working on Baidu Eye, a product that would be similar to Google Glass. As far as we know, the new lab is Baidu’s second location in Silicon Valley. Last year it also opened a research lab in Cupertino. Baidu employees also conduct research into artificial intelligence in that lab, but the workforce is still limited.