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Baidu expands use of its AI tech in traditional industries

By Zhou Mo in Shenzhen | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-05-31 20:07
People visit the Baidu exhibition stand at the Light of the Internet Expo in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Chinese internet search giant Baidu Inc is ramping up efforts in its push to become a leader in the internet of things sector by widening the use of its artificial intelligence technology in traditional industries.

It has formed an alliance with home appliance company Haier, property developer Country Garden and telecom carrier China Unicom to help the traditional industries turn “smart” with its AI technology.

It is also taking AI to the coal mining sector, aiming to help reduce safety accidents by monitoring the process of water exploration.

“For Baidu, the most important thing lies not only in product and technology, but also in partners in the ecosystem,” Zhang Yaqin, president of Baidu, said at the ABC Summit 2018 Inspire, held by Baidu Cloud in Shenzhen on Thursday.

“We hope to serve as a provider of cloud computing services -- cooperating, exploring and developing together with our partners,” he said.

The Beijing-based company has been pouring great resources into developing AI technology, with around 4,500 research and development talents.
Other technology giants are also investing heavily in AI, with Alibaba focusing on smart cities and Tencent on medicine and health.

In an effort to take the lead in the race, Baidu has launched an intelligent edge product, Baidu IntelliEdge, on Thursday, which is expected to make the IoT sector smarter and more efficient.

In cloud computing, IoT data are stored and processed on the cloud side. The efficiency of computing could be severely affected by the quality of the internet connection.

Intelligent edge, meanwhile, enables smooth computing when there is no internet connection or the internet environment is unstable by allowing data to be stored and processed on the side of connected devices.

According to the market research firm IDC, 50 percent of the IoT data processing is expected to be affected by the internet this year. Therefore, 40 percent of data need to be stored and processed through intelligent edge.

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