Vice President of Baidu Technology
The word "cloud computing" has become very popular in recent years. Last month, the State Council listed "new generation of information technology" among the seven strategic emerging industries, while cloud computing is a key part of that technology. Today, I want to share my opinion on the relationship between cloud computing and search engines as well as how the cloud computing functions in Internet search based on the practices of Baidu.
First, the search engines themselves are the best applications of cloud computing. Why would I say this? Search engines are always trying to solve such a problem. That is how huge amount of data, large amounts of visits and real-time updating could be organically combined. The cloud computing we mentioned is actually a new set of technology promoted by the development of the search engines. To be direct, cloud computing is the technology dedicated to the processing of large-scale and unstructured data. In order to be well accepted by the market, each search engine must be equipped with such technology. Baidu precedes billions of searches daily which are all supported by cloud computing from the bottom.
Last year, we came up with the idea of "box computing" based on the core technology of search engines and cloud computing. Structurally supported by large amount of cloud computing, the box computing will on one hand precisely understand and grasp users’ information, and on the other hand, it will provide what the users really need through background calculation.
Then what is box computing anyway? I will explain it to you. Box computing is basically used to analyze and meet the users’ demands. What we see in this picture is that all kinds of users’ demands will be showcased in Baidu’s search box. After receiving the demands, we will manage to know what the users really want through a series of calculations, a series of analysis, including voice analysis, demand analysis, human-computer interaction, as well as mass amount of calculation. Then we will distribute these tips to those information and application providers that are able to meet the users’ demands.
There are many examples that display the application of box computing in people’s life. If a user keys in "weather" in Baidu’s search box, we would know the user’s location. Thus when you search for weather in Beijing, Beijing’s weather report will be displayed. If in Shanghai, Shanghai’s weather report will be showed. Another example: if you key in "traffic restriction," Baidu will directly tell you the current traffic-restriction rules. If you key in "road condition," Baidu will also show you the real-time road condition. With various ways, these search results differ greatly with those generated by traditional search engines. We also notice that users’ demands mainly have determinacy. These demands basically are directed by statistics and have only one answer.
I have more examples, like the name of the Chinese dish "Mapo Tofu." Instead of transferring users to another Website, now users can get what they want on the search page. Its recipe will be told in the first search result. Starting from now, if you search for "CCTV-5 programs" on Baidu, you will get a direct result of what would be broadcasted on the channel in the near future. As for the demand of entertainment, users are now allowed to directly watch the videos. For example, if you key in "New Three Kingdoms," you will be able to play the video after just one click. It is very direct. In terms of the online music, all sorts of links to the music are available on the Internet. All these results are provided to Baidu by Baidu’s open platforms and its providers for data and application. This technology is also very useful in business affairs. A search for "engineer vacancy" will directly show you the specific job positions, the companies and also the time. There is a particular input box for "online translation." What you need to do is just to key in what you want to translate.