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China's Baidu is planning to establish an artificial intelligence (AI) cloud computing center in the country as the company continues to push through with its "smart city" projects.

According to Xinhua, the Chinese tech giant is looking to expand its AI programs by building a cloud computing center in Baoding, Hebei Province. The project aims to cater to the residents of the Xiongan New Area as well as other regions in the northern part of the country.

A cooperation MOU has been signed by Baidu and Baoding's municipal government on Thursday, stating that the government allows the company to create China's second cloud computing facility in Baoding.

Baidu has been thriving in the AI industry and the company announced earlier that it is planning to further expand its horizons in projects that focus on artificial intelligence.

The first Baidu cloud computing center is found in Yangquan City, Shanxi Province. Along with the second facility that will be built in Baoding, the Yangquan City center is part of the tech company's artificial neural network dubbed as Baidu Brain.

Smart transport development is the main focus of these centers. Baidu aims to use AI technologies to improve traffic monitoring in the city and other northern provinces.

Earlier this month, the search engine provider announced the development of OpenEdge, an open source computing platform made for the purpose of helping developers build apps with more ease.

Vice President and General Manager of Baidu Cloud, Watson Yin said of the program, "The explosive growth of IoT devices and rapid adoption of AI is fueling great demand for edge computing." He added that edge computing is one of the major factors that drive progress within the company's ABC (AI, Big Data and Cloud Computing) strategies, Venture Beat reported.

AI boards were also unveiled to the public: the BIE-AI-Board and the BIE-AI-Box. The former is chipboard for object classification tasks while the other is a kit that should improve in-car video analysis.

These developments in the company's AI sect came after China's most dominant search engine faced backlash for its alleged prioritization of Baijiahao content in search results. Journalist Fang Kecheng released a now-viral article that said Baidu has become more of an advertisement company than a quality content provider.

Baidu dismissed Kecheng's claims but the company's stocks dipped. On the other hand, analysts believe that the tech giant's shift of focus to artificial intelligence could be a pivoting point to get shares back on track.


Autor(en)/Author(s): A.N. Basil

Quelle/Source: Business Times, 03.02.2019

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