undergroundnewsroom.com March 22, 2018

Google announces plans to launch 5th AI centre in China

14 December 2017, 04:02 | Jenny Fowler

Jack Ma'We shouldn't fear AI

Jack Ma'We shouldn't fear AI

Google on Wednesday disclosed plans to create a research lab in China dedicated to artificial intelligence.

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. China's foreign ministry said on Thursday that it had no comment on Google's decision to end automatic rerouting of Chinese users to its uncensored Hong Kong search portal, in a bid to keep its China operating license.

Google said China is home to numerous world's top experts in AI and machine learning and the objective behind opening the center in Beijing was to tap the best AI talent in the country.

It's been seven years since Google Search left China, but the company is increasingly turning toward AI as a way of reentering what is the world's largest online market. With the announcement, Google is acknowledging the growing importance of China for the future of AI.

AI is one of the most competitive fields on the planet right now and tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple are searching far and wide for the best talent, offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

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While Chinese authorities are increasing their control over free speech online - an effort that has caused tension with Google - the government also supports the development of AI-based technologies such as autonomous driving.

One of the reasons behind this decision is that numerous world's top AI experts are based in China. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai have visited the country this year. The centre will be led by Fei-Fei Li, who runs Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Lab and heads the AI arm of Google's Cloud business, and Jia Li, the head of research and development for the AI division of Google Cloud.

Like Google, most major US information technology companies can not ignore the booming growth market that is China.

Rather, the Beijing-based group will work with AI partners in Google workplaces over the world, including New York, Toronto, London, and Zurich.

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