At a tech conference in Beijing yesterday, Baidu Vice President Yaqin Zhang plotted a bold course for the search engine giant. In response to a growing shortage of AI talents, Zhang announced that Baidu will train over 100,000 AI talents with expertise in engineering and product development over the next three years.
Trainees can learn AI, data analysis, and cloud computing skills on the Cloud Intelligence College (云智学院), an education platform launched by Baidu last year that offers online and offline courses, and awards specialized certificates to graduates.
“Our mission, on one hand, is to improve the employment competitiveness of trainees, and on the other hand, to ramp up companies’ product R&D capabilities,” says Zhang.
China is facing a shortage of five million AI talents. While the country is an AI business deployment leader with well-financed startups, its AI educational infrastructure is lagging. The US has six times more AI education institutions. Meanwhile, high demand has sent AI engineer salaries skyrocketing in China.
Earlier this month China’s Ministry of Education issued an action plan aimed at energizing Chinese universities’ capabilities in AI technological innovation, talent cultivation, and global cooperation. The action plan also pledges to educate 500 teachers and 5,000 students over the next five years in a joint effort with Sinovation Venture and Peking University.
Journalist: Tony Peng| Editor: Michael Sarazen