Google Opens AI Research Center in Beijing

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The research facility will be based in Beijing, where Google has an existing office.

Google has announced that it will be launching the Google AI China Center, its first such center in Asia.

On the one hand side, Google is pushing its AI (Artificial Intelligence) research as deep and fast as possible and on the other hand side, president of the second biggest economy of the world, China, has ordered the government to focus and pricess on "big data". While this move is not as much a reversal of policy as something like bringing the Google Play Store to China, or even having Google.cn not automatically forward you to the Hong Kong variant, it is a clear sign that Google has not been blind to China's growth as a tech powerhouse.

The announcement was made by Google Cloud AI and Machine Learning Chief Scientist Fei-Fei Li, a professor who joined Google a year ago.

Google announced the launch of the center at a software developers conference in Shanghai. By opening a lab in Beijing, Google is merely following this trend in reverse, chasing the talent where it lies.

Google's new lab will face fierce competition attracting researchers, though, especially as local giants like Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba pour more and more money into the sector. Earlier this year, Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt said the U.S. was at risk of falling behind in AI research - blaming, in part, government strategy.

As Li writes in her blog post: "I believe AI and its benefits have no borders".

Google said in a statement the centre is part of its mission to be an "AI first company". Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Bejing or anywhere else, it has the potential to make everyone's life better. In China, Google has deployed some of the best talent in the field, and presently, there are over 20 jobs open, notes TechCrunch.

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