TIME technology

Chinese Search Giant Baidu Moves into Google’s Backyard

Company and Bank images After China Leadership Shift
Tomohiro Ohsumi—Bloomberg/Getty Images China's national flag, left, and Baidu Inc.'s corporate flag fly outside Baidu's headquarters in Beijing, China, on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012.

The new kid on the block unveiled a new artificial-intelligence research lab in Silicon Valley and appointed Google-alum, Andrew Ng, as chief scientist

Baidu, the “Google of China,” just took a flying leap out of China.

The search giant announced on Friday that it will invest $300 million in a Silicon Vally R&D center. The lab will employ 200 staff and have at the helm a pioneering researcher in artificial intelligence and Google-alum, Andrew Ng.

Ng currently heads Stanford University’s artificial-intelligence lab and helped found and lead Google’s Deep Learning team, which has built self-teaching search engines that can, say, learn how to recognize cats in YouTube videos.

Internet companies believe the technology could branch out from cat-recognition into applications as diverse as driverless cars, robotics and speech-recognition.

Baidu expressed “delight” at the hiring decision, saying in a statement, “Andrew is the ideal individual to lead our research efforts as we enter an era where AI plays an increasingly pronounced role.”

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