Baidu CEO proposes national AI project

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 12, 2015
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Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu Inc., said he has proposed the development of a national-level artificial intelligence program, at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu Inc., speaks at a press conference in Beijing on March 11, 2015.[Photo/]

Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu Inc., speaks at a press conference in Beijing on March 11, 2015.[Photo/]

"The project is called China Brain," said Li, who is also known as Robin Li overseas. He is a member of the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and is currently attending the advisory body's third annual session in Beijing. "I hope China can mobilize the resources of the whole nation to develop the biggest AI development platform in the world."

He explained that enterprises, science research organizations and even new entrepreneurs can initiate various innovative projects on the platform equitably. "Artificial intelligence technologies have gained a more and more solid presence in recent years, including programs in voice recognition, image recognition, multi-language translation, unpiloted vehicles and airplanes, robots and more. This is one of the peaks of world technology, and China is not lagging behind in this area, so I think we have an opportunity to do something big. "

Li said that China Brain Project was inspired by American research programs like the Manhattan Project, the Apollo program and the Human Genome Project. "The first two were supervised by their military department, particularly the Apollo program, which gave birth to Silicon Valley. More than 20,000 enterprises joined the program, and they spent US$25.5 billion and more than 10 years to do it. More than 300,000 people were involved. Such a big project produced long-term, persistent and stable demands for chips, so the price of chips went down in that period, which paved the way to the birth of companies such as Intel. "

Artificial intelligence is one of the most cutting-edge technologies of the 21st century. Europe, the United States and other developed countries have stepped up the development of AI on a national strategic level to lead a new round of technological innovation.

The Baidu executive said that scientific research projects on such a grand scale have not been established through just the efforts of all a nation's citizens. He also hopes for funding from China's national defense and military. "I expect that in the future, private companies, science research institutes and China's national defense industry and military science department can form closer collaborations to do something that can put China on the frontlines of world innovation for 10 to 20 years and more."

The third session of the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference will close on Friday.

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