Google is opening an artificial intelligence research lab in Beijing, Chief Scientist of AI/ML at Google Cloud Fei-fei Li announced today at the Google Developer Conference in Shanghai.
Google’s China AI Center will gather top researchers and scientists with AI expertise, co-led by Dr. Li and Jia Li, Head of Research and Development at Google Cloud.
Dr. Li says Google’s China AI Center will focus on basic AI research, while working with local Chinese academia to develop sustainable cooperation. “Google cherishes this opportunity to cooperate with the top Chinese AI talents in China, who are bound to be the top in the world.”
Recent Google job postings suggested the tech giant was filling machine learning-related positions for a new Beijing team, including researchers, technology directors, product managers, and software engineers.
Dr. Li says she suggested the idea of opening a Google AI center in China after joining the company this January, and it was approved by Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene.
The opening of Google’s AI center in China signals a first step in the company’s return to China. Access to Google Search has been limited in China since 2010, and Google has been seeking the opportunity to re-build its presence in China.
Google’s China prospects brightened this May when DeepMind brought the Go computer AlphaGo Master to Wuzhen and topped World No.1 player Ke Jie (柯洁). In September Google took a leap forward by launching a China-based TensorFlow development team to boost a local machine learning community.
“AI has no boundaries, and there is no boundary for AI’s well-being,” says Dr. Li.
Journalist: Tony Peng | Editor: Michael Sarazen