Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Baidu hires 'Google Brain' founder to run its AI labs

Andrew Ng has been hired by the Chinese Internet giant

Article comments

Baidu has scored a win over Google by hiring Andrew Ng, founder of the "Google Brain," to run the Chinese Internet giant's artificial intelligence labs.

The Google Brain is the nickname for a project at the company to replicate aspects of how the human brain works in computers, which could lead to big advances in search, robotics, natural language processing, online marketing and many other fields. So-called "deep learning" and other aspects of AI have become a big focus for the leading tech firms, including IBM, Microsoft and Facebook, who've all been hiring top academics in the field.

Baidu announced Friday it has hired Ng, who previously led Google's deep learning efforts, to run its AI labs in Beijing and Silicon Valley. Ng is also a faculty member in computer science at Stanford University and known for his work building "massive scale artificial neural networks," Baidu said.

Google lifted the lid on its AI efforts a couple of years ago when it described how it had unleashed its neural network on YouTube to see what the system could learn.

"Our hypothesis was that it would learn to recognize common objects in those videos," Google said at the time. "Indeed, to our amusement, one of our artificial neurons learned to respond strongly to pictures of ... cats."

This seems unremarkable except that the computer had never been told what a cat was or shown a single image labeled as a cat. But it figured out that cats were a thing on YouTube and learned to recognize them by itself.

Facebook is also in on the game: In December it hired a prominent AI expert at New York University, Yann LeCun, and opened its own AI research lab.

The most public face of IBM's AI efforts is Watson, a high-performance computer that famously won the "Jeopardy" TV game show a few years ago.

Along with image recognition and image-based search, Baidu said its labs are working on voice recognition, natural language processing, "semantic intelligence," machine translation and advertising matching.

"As a true visionary and key contributor in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Andrew is the ideal individual to lead our research efforts as we enter an era where AI plays an increasingly pronounced role," Robin Li, Baidu's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Ng also co-founded Coursera, which offers courses from top universities online, where he'll stay on as its chairman, Baidu said.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. It may not be hurting for AI experts in its ranks -- last year it hired Geoffrey Hinton, another renowned AI expert at the University of Toronto.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *