Google’s AI advancements are known worldwide. As a quick reminder, the company’s latest achievement is AlphaGo’s victory over the best Go players in the world.
Since Google has benefited from worldwide mass-media coverage, many people are convinced that the company is way ahead its competitors in the AI field. After all, Google is the most active AI startup acquirer in the world, draining fresh ideas from the companies it purchased.
China’s largest Internet companies use powerful AI algorithms
However, not many people are aware of the AI progress made by China’s Internet giants Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba.
These companies already use powerful AI algorithms to predict customer behavior and boost sales.
For example, Baidu created its own AI research lab in 2014, and currently employs around 2000 AI researchers. The company also relies on AI to target ads and increase revenue.
Tencent, which owns the popular WeChat messaging app, recently joined the club by opening its own AI lab in Seattle. The lab is led by former Microsoft scientist Yu Dong, who supervises research in speech recognition and natural language processing.
Alibaba’s AI research interests currently revolve around visual analysis, and face detection technology, with speech recognition being the next step on the development plan.
China can’t rely on Google for AI research and vice-versa
Google withdrew its services from China due to government censorship. As a result, neither the American tech giant, nor Chinese companies are hurrying to collaborate on AI research.
Taking into account this situation, Chinese companies are left with no other choice but to rely on their own AI research labs.
What is indeed surprising is that Google doesn’t seem to take China’s AI ambitions seriously. China’s largest Internet companies have developed some the most sophisticated deep learning systems in the world, and although Google benefited from an early start, things may radically change in the future.
What do you think? Will Chinese tech company ever be able to take Google in AI research?
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