Baidu unveils plans for open AI ecosystem development

Updated 2017-07-06 09:26:32 Xinhua

Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) giant Baidu Wednesday unveiled plans to build an open AI ecosystem with program developers and partners.

Baidu will roll out two major open AI platforms DuerOS and Apollo to speed up development in technology and applications for man-machine dialogue and autonomous driving respectively, according to Lu Qi, Baidu vice chairman, group president and chief operating officer, at Baidu Create 2017, a conference for AI developers.

The company will continue to work with companies in different sectors to use its conversational AI operating system DuerOS to make interaction between man and machine easier, according to Jing Kun, general manager of the DuerOS business unit.

Jing also announced Baidu's acquisition of AI start-up KITT, to meet growing demands for smart voice-controlled devices and services.

Baidu also released a timetable to share key technologies with partners for its benchmark open autonomous driving platform Apollo, which has garnered over 50 strategic partners since its launch in April.

The two platforms are both powered by Baidu Brain, the company's core AI system, featuring advanced technology for recognizing and processing speech, images, words as well as building user profiles based on big data analysis. A total of 60 key Baidu Brain AI capabilities will be open to ecosystem participants.

AI is a historic opportunity for China, which is expected to lead the world in AI development thanks to strong technological capabilities, a huge user base and government support, according to Lu.

Baidu also decided to launch two funds with the Yangtze River Industry Fund to support two major AI projects by offering capital, training and market opportunities to about 100,000 AI developers within three years.

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