TIME technology

Chinese Search Giant Baidu Moves into Google’s Backyard

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

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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