Baidu announced today that respected Natural Language Processing scientist Dr. Kenneth W. Church will join its research arm as a Distinguished Scientist. This is the latest in a series of eye-catching talent acquisitions for the Chinese “All in on AI” tech giant.
Dr. Church comes to Baidu Research from the IBM Watson Research Center, where he worked on computational linguistics. He was also Chief Scientist of the Human Language Technology Center of Excellence at Johns Hopkins University; and serves as president of Empirical Methods on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), one of the world’s most influential NLP conferences.
Says Dr. Church, “In addition to its commitment to fundamental research, Baidu is in a unique position to transfer AI technology from the laboratory into reality and make the world a better place for hundreds of millions of people.”
Baidu Research also announced the acquisition of big data and data mining expert Dr. Jun Huan, a former Professor of Computer Science at the University of Kansas; and Dr. Hui Xiong, a Professor at Rutgers University focused on data and knowledge engineering research.
Baidu Research revealed that it will open two new labs: the Business Intelligence Lab (BIL) will focus on effective and efficient data analysis technology for emerging data intensive applications; while the Robotics and Autonomous Driving Lab (RAL) will conduct research on computer vision. The RAL is expected to advance obstacle perception capabilities at Baidu’s star project Apollo — an open-source autonomous driving technology platform.
The new labs complement Baidu Research’s existing Institute of Deep Learning (IDL), Big Data Lab (BDL), and Silicon Valley Artificial Intelligence Lab (SVAIL).
Says Baidu Vice President Haifeng Wang: “This is the beginning of a new journey for Baidu Research. Our mission will be centered on conducting future-oriented fundamental research, setting the direction for Baidu’s AI development and empowering the company’s long-term strategy.”
Journalist: Tony Peng | Editor: Michael Sarazen
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