8 May, 2017
Inside Baidu’s Billion Dollar Push To Become An AI Global Leader
To Chinese search engine operator Baidu, the future is set in stone. The company, dubbed the Google of China, has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence, betting that smart machines will disrupt industry after industry.
Of the 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) Baidu spent in research and development over the past two and a half years, the majority goes to AI, the company’s vice president and head of artificial intelligence group Wang Haifeng told FORBES in a recent interview. In the past quarter alone, R&D expenses went up by another 35% to $412 million from a year ago, according to its latest financial results. Like Google, Baidu wants to use the technology to refine its search algorithms, develop voice assistants, produce self-driving cars and build augmented reality tools that may soon have broader applications in marketing, tourism and healthcare.