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Baidu embraces AI tech for education platforms

By Liu Xiangrui | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-11-22 13:43

As an important part of Baidu's overall strategy, the company's educational platforms will evolve to be more content-rich, intelligent and personalized based on artificial-intelligence technologies, according to Zhang Yaqin, president of the Chinese tech giant.

The internet and "Intelligent Plus" are bringing revolutions to traditional industries, Zhang noted in his speech at the 2016 Baidu Education Event held in Beijing on Monday.

"We believe artificial intelligence has the same influence for education industry. Technologies including cloud computing and big data are likely to play a major role in education in the future," said Zhang.

Invited experts included Marielza Oliveira, director of UNESCO's office in China; Wang Shuguo, president of Xi'an Jiaotong University; and Clarissa Shen, vice president of Udacity — a private online educational organization. It also gathered more than 800 educational professionals and organization representatives.

It is estimated that Baidu Library, an open educational platform under the Baidu search engine, receives more than 80 million visits daily. Meanwhile, about 400,000 people receive online education in the form of archives, electronic books and live-broadcast lessons every day using its online education platforms, according to Zhang Gao, general manager of Baidu's education division.

A forum on issues including artificial intelligence's role in future education and the challenges and opportunities for nurturing talent in the new age was part of the event.

An education league that aims to integrate online and offline resources and focus on nurturing talent in the internet age was formed after the forum.

Baidu's president Zhang also introduced the company's plan to launch a charitable education program aiming to help about 70 million left-behind children in China.

The program will take advantage of speech synthesis technology to enable the parents' voices to support the left-behind children's growth as much as possible.

The program will also use online education to help parents who are migrant workers learn agricultural and other skills so that they can finally make a living at home and be with their children, according to Zhang.

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