Baidu to set up machine-learning R&D center

Summary:The Chinese Internet company will set up its Institute of Deep Learning later this year, as it hopes to benefit from being an early-mover in the machine-learning field.

Chinese Internet giant Baidu is looking to set up its inaugural Institute of Deep Learning by 2013, which it hopes will emulate the achievements of other top global research institutes.

A Sohu IT report on Monday said that Baidu CEO Robin Li made the announcement at the company's annual meeting in China, as he wanted the company to be at the forefront of the machine-learning field. He added that while the technology is still in its early stages, the company will benefit in the long run for being one of the early-movers in this area.

Deep learning is part of machine-learning technology that makes sense of data through multiple levels of representation and abstraction. A New York Times report in November noted that deep learning is already in use in Apple's Siri and Google Street View.

Li also revealed the hopes he has for the Institute. "I hope Baidu's Institute of Deep Learning will become a top research organization like AT&T's Bell Labs and Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), he said.

The two research centers mentioned are famous for their innovative work and contributions to the overall tech industry. For example, Bell Labs, now owned by Alcatel-Lucent, invented the cell phone technology, while PARC developed the graphical user interface (GUI).

Sohu IT said that the Institute of Deep Learning will be Baidu's first wholly-owned research center. It currently co-owns the Baidu-I2R Research Centre (BIRC) in Singapore, which was officially opened in June 2012. Since then, the BIRC had launched a voice recognition technology that allows people to use voice commands to activate their mobile handsets.

Topics: Emerging Tech, Big Data, China

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The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate mas... Full Bio

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