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Baidu Acquires US Artificial Intelligence Start-Up KITT.AI

Chinese Internet giant Baidu Inc. has agreed to acquire KITT.AI, a Seattle-based natural language processing start-up founded by Chinese entrepreneurs Yao Xucheng and Chen Guoguo. The pair plan to jointly develop natural language understanding technology as part of Baidu's intense push into AI.

Xuebajun, Dangdai Launch Strategic Partnership For AI In Education

Xuebajun, an education mobile app allowing students to upload questions and get answers from both AI robots and online teachers, has signed a strategic partnership with Wuhan city-based education group Dangdai Education to seek opportunities in the artificial intelligence space.

Baidu CEO Robin Li Lays Out Mission To Turn Search Engine Firm Into AI Leader

Robin Li, founder and chief executive officer of Baidu Inc., sent an internal letter to staff yesterday and stressed again the importance of Baidu's artificial intelligence strategy. He predicted that AI will be the center of the company's future. Below is a translation of the letter for your enjoyment: Dear Baidu students: Today is the May Fourth, Youth Day. I have one piece of bad news and one piece of good news to tell everyone. The bad news is that, according to the new standards set by the United Nations, the age of 15 to 24 belongs to the "youth" category, which means that most of our Baidu students are already aged beyond "youth" as our Baidu family's average age is 26. However, the good news is that, in accordance with this standard, 17-year-old Baidu, is just entering the season of youth, full of infinite vitality. In fact, I believe that youth should never be defined by age – "youth" is a spirit of determination, the mentality of not being satisfied with the status quo, also of those who dream of changing the world. At any time, as long as our hearts and our dream remain the same, our courage …

Tencent's AI Research Lab Sets Record At Facial Recognition Contest

Tencent YouTu Lab, a machine learning-focused artificial intelligence research lab under Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., has set a record by achieving an 83.29% recognition rate in the MegaFace challenge, an internationally recognized test known for its high level of difficulty. This is the second time YouTu Lab has achieved a world record, following its recent record in the Labeled Faces in the Wild (LFW) face database challenge in March 2017. With data training based on two million Western faces and four million Asian faces, YouTu achieved an 83.29% recognition rate in a test to recognize a million faces in the MegaFace challenge. Notably, the YouTu algorithm demonstrated the scope of its applicability when it set new records in both LFW and MegaFace databases. In the massive facial recognition test, the recognition rate for an interference set of one million faces at scale has become the most effective tool when searching for missing persons and wanted fugitives. YouTu Lab's technology has helped nearly 10 families find their missing members within 24 hours of their disappearance in China's Fujian province since March 2017. The technology is also used across a wide range of applications, including Tencent's social networking site Qzone, …

China's Baidu Acquires US Computer Vision Firm xPerception

Chinese search engine giant Baidu, Inc. has acquired xPerception, a U.S. technology company that provides visual perception software and hardware solutions for a range of applications, including robotics, virtual reality (VR), and devices for people who are visually impaired. The acquisition further strengthens the use of Baidu's visual perception technology in key projects like augmented reality (AR) and autonomous driving. It also accelerates the development of Baidu's artificial intelligence-based products. Financial terms were not disclosed. California-based xPerception is a technology start-up with world-class talent from both China and the United States. The co-founders of the company, Dr. Bao Yingze and Dr. Chen Mingyu, were early key engineers at AR start-up Magic Leap. The acquisition of xPerception is the latest in a recent series of notable investments aimed at strengthening Baidu's position as a global leader in AI. AI has permeated many of Baidu's products, and the company has been attracting leading AI talent through its research facilities in Silicon Valley, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Following the acquisition, the core xPerception team will join Baidu Research and continue developing xPerception's core technology, visual inertial simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). Accurate and robust SLAM is one of the fundamental technologies in visual …

Shunwei's Meng Xing Says Chinese AI Startups Need Niche Products To Survive And Thrive

To say that Meng Xing, V.P. and entrepreneur-in-residence at Chinese venture firm Shunwei Capital, has been busy would be a gross understatement. Over the past ten years, the 31-year-old venture capitalist and entrepreneur has founded two artificial intelligence (AI) start-ups, selling one, an image recognition AI company, to Amazon and the other to a listed Chinese company. In between, he worked as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan Hong Kong and casino giant Caesars Entertainment, on top of getting an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.

Chinese Cloud AI Start-Up CloudMinds Raises $100M

CloudMinds Inc., a Chinese start-up focused on the development of cloud-intelligence-based applications, and backed by SoftBank Group Corp., announced that it raised US$100 million in a series A funding round during a press conference held in Beijing yesterday. Founded in 2015 by Huang Xiaoqing, the former head of research at China Mobile, CloudMinds aims to build artificial intelligent "brains" on the cloud, instead of within humanoid robots. An average human brain weighs less than 1.5 kilograms, while the silicon alone needed for an artificial brain would weigh over one thousand tons, based on current computing capacity, the company claims. No identities of the investors were disclosed. The latest round follows the completion of US$31 million in angel and seed financing from SoftBank Group International, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., Walden International and Keytone Ventures in May 2016. During the same conference, CloudMinds launched a cloud intelligence ecosystem that combines the cloud, networks and terminals, as well as applications including a guide helmet designed to help the blind navigate streets. Outside of the guide helmet for the blind, CouldMinds is in the process of building a cloud central control system connecting actual humanoids with a central "nerve system" on the …

China Develops Own AlphaGo, But Humans Can Still Beat It

Chinese tech companies are developing their own versions of AlphaGo, a computer program developed by Google DeepMind that beat 9-dan professional Go player Lee Sedol last year. But these Chinese programs have a long way to go before reaching AlphaGo's perfect win record versus humans, Chinese state media reported.

Baidu Hires Ex-Microsoft Executive Lu Qi To Lead Push Into AI

Chinese search engine giant Baidu, Inc. has appointed Lu Qi, formerly global executive vice president at Microsoft, and noted expert in artificial intelligence, as its group president and chief operating officer, in charge of products, technology, sales, marketing and operations.