Bolstering its status as an AI first company, Google has opened machine learning research labs around the world in recent years.
Google announced Wednesday that it will open a new artificial intelligence research centre in Beijing, tapping China's talent pool in the promising technology despite the USA search giant's exclusion from the country's internet.
The move makes a lot of sense: research firm IDC predicts that global spending on AI will cross $46 billion by 2020, and China is going all in.
With AI talent in short supply, Google's latest push in China is also an opportunity for the company to snap up top researchers in the world's second-largest economy.
Between the government's interest and that of major multi-billion-dollar tech corporations like Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, China is well poised to take the lead in AI.
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Since becoming a professor 12 years ago and joining Google a year ago, I've had the good fortune to work with many talented Chinese engineers, researchers and technologists.
AI companies in China suck up personal data from the massive population and use it to train machine-learning algorithms - but Google, locked out of the internet, has little user data to pull from in the country.
AI research has the potential to boost developments in self-driving cars and automated factories, translation products and facial recognition software, among other innovations. Bring on the breakthroughs, Google.
Google today announced plans to launch the Google AI China Center. The goal of this center is to find ways to improve AI through basic research while working with the large network of Google engineers in the country. As an AI-first company, this is an important part of out collective mission.
Google said the new Chinese AI research center will join a list of similar overseas centers like in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich. According to Li, 43 percent of the content in the top 100 AI journals came from Chinese authors in 2015.