We’ve covered the Chinese search engine giant Baidu before, commonly referred to as “China’s Google”, the search engine is one of the leading sites in web traffic in the country. Looking to further support its title as “China’s Google”, Baidu today made a significant hire. First reported by Technology Review, Baidu has hired Andrew Ng to oversee a new artificial intelligence research lab it is opening in Silicon Valley.
Andrew Ng is a Stanford professor who is most well known for his position at Google, where he was a key component in the company’s “deep learning” field. Ng also cofounded the online education company Coursera.
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Deep learning, what Ng worked on at Google, makes it possible for machines to process large amounts of data using simulated networks. The ultimate goal of deep learning is to allow for apps, devices, and websites (i.e. Goolge, Baidu) to process and understand images and text as well as humans. Deep learning applies to things like face recognition software.
At the Silicon Valley research facility, Andrew Ng will carry the title of head of research. Baidu plans to pour more than $300 million into the facility over the next five years, signaling that it plans to attack Google in every way possible.
Apple and Baidu also have an agreement in place with the search engine being the default option on all Chinese iOS devices. This, combined with normal web traffic, has reportedly made Baidu capture more than 7 percent of Google’s web traffic.