Google Opens China AI Research Center Amid TensorFlow Marketing Push

Dec 15, 2017, 02:30
Google Opens China AI Research Center Amid TensorFlow Marketing Push

Likewise, it seems that China, which is desperate to make the most of advances in AI, can not ignore Google's efforts in the field (see "China's AI Awakening"). The company said the center is the first of its kind in Asia and will consist of a small team based out of its existing offices in Beijing.

In spite of a complete ban on Google services in China, the tech giant has launched the Google AI China Center on Wednesday in a bid to make its presence felt in the field of artificial intelligence and also gain a foothold in the second largest economy in the world.

A blog post by Fei-Fei Li announcing the new lab strikes a similar tone of harmony and mutual benefit. The company says it's already hired "top experts", with respected AI veteran - and Google Cloud chief scientist - Fei-Fei Li leading and coordinating work. This is why, seven years ago, Google drastically slashed its business interests in China, even threatening to leave the country entirely: Chinese censorship and government control simply went against the values of Google as an entity, and Google wouldn't play ball.

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Google cited China's growing academic and technical contributions to the AI field as one reason it chose to move forward on the project, and said that it's looking forward to "working closely with the vibrant Chinese AI research community".

At the same time, China has been expanding its push into artificial intelligence. With this initiative, Google plans to hire more Chinese researchers. According to Li, 43 percent of the content in the top 100 AI journals came from Chinese authors in 2015. Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Bejing or anywhere else, it has the potential to make everyone's life better. So the center wants to do its best to organize events and workshops in China to tap into this talent.

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