January 20, 2018

Google opening an AI center in China

14 December 2017, 03:58 | Denise Dawson

Opening the Google AI China Center - Google Blog

Google opens first machine learning research lab in Asia with 'Google AI China Center'

The news comes amid Google's efforts to interest Chinese technology companies in TensorFlow.

Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist at Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post while announcing the plan for the China lab.

It's not yet known what AI technologies will be developed, but Bloomberg says the company aims to hire "top-notch researchers".

The Chinese-born Li is seen heading up the new research hub.

"Other than distributing its particular work, the Google AI China Center will likewise bolster the AI examine group by subsidizing and supporting AI meetings and workshops, and working intimately with the energetic Chinese AI inquire about the group", Li included. She is also an associate professor at Stanford University in the USA, and advised automaker Toyota Motor on its Silicon Valley AI development organization.

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Focused on basic AI research, the lab will consist of a team of AI researchers in Beijing, supported by the company's engineering teams. That has helped spur Chinese development thanks to the country's 731 million internet users, who typically provide more detailed information than Western counterparts. Fei-Fei Li joined Google past year. Its services, including search and email, became unusable there.

"We have 600-plus employees in China, and we had a similar number in 2010", said Taj Meadows, a Google spokesman. The company's most successful services are generally blocked in the country. It claims to employ several hundred people in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

The center joins other Google-run AI research groups, including facilities in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich. But the search company aims to stay active in the market, which boasts high growth and is driven by talented engineers. The game, which eventually resulted in Go world champion Ke Jie losing to Google's AlphaGo, was censored in China.

China has also been accused by the US government, business groups and think tanks of trying to take short cuts in the development of its domestic industries by forcing foreign companies to hand over their intellectual property. It has an active business distributing online ads for desktop computers and mobile applications, and Chinese makers of smartphones use its Android mobile device software.

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