Baidu embraces artificial intelligence, set to build an open ecosystem

Updated 2017-07-06 09:26:35 Global Times

Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc announced it will build an open ecosystem driven by artificial intelligence (AI), endeavoring to hold a leading position in the sector, Baidu's top executives said Wednesday.

AI provides a historic opportunity for both China and Baidu, Lu Qi, president and chief operating officer of Baidu Group, said Wednesday, domestic news portal reported. "Using AI, we can develop new businesses in financial and intelligent cloud services, and autonomous driving," Lu said during "Baidu Create 2017," dubbed the first event for AI developers hosted in Beijing.

Xiang Ligang, chief executive of the domestic telecom industry portal, told the Global Times on Wednesday that although we have witnessed some applications of AI technology in voice and photo identification, they are still at the rudimentary phase, and far away from generating social or business value. "It might take years to reach the next level of AI but we are on the way already, and it is really a big opportunity," he added.

The tech giant has obtained over 2,000 patents related to AI, and is willing to open and share these technologies, Robin Li Yanhong, Baidu's founder and CEO, was quoted as saying in media reports.

Xiang said that to develop a whole industrial chain, AI is not enough. Telecommunication technology 5G, big data and tactile ability should all work together.

Also, TomTom, the Dutch maker of navigation software for cars, announced Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with Baidu to develop high definition maps for autonomous driving.

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