During its Developer Days event in China, Google officially announced that it will open an AI Centre in the country's capital that will collaborate with other AI-focused teams in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich.
Despite the fact that Google Search has been blocked in mainland China since 2015, the company still employs hundreds of staff within the country that are dedicated to improving its international services. This is why Alphabet's chairman Eric Schmidt has always maintained the position that the company “never left” the country.
China is on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence and it makes sense that Google would want to harness the country's already deep and growing AI talent pool (opens in new tab) for its own projects.
Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist at Google Cloud, highlighted the country's AI talent in a blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the new Google AI China Centre, saying:
“I believe AI and its benefits have no borders. Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Bejing or anywhere else, it has the potential to make everyone's life better. As an AI first company, this is an important part of our collective mission. And we want to work with the best AI talent, where that talent is, to achieve it. Besides publishing its own work, the Google AI China Centre will also support the AI research community by funding and sponsoring AI conferences and workshops, and working closely with the vibrant Chinese AI research community.”
The company has already hired a few employees for the new AI Centre but as of now there still remain 20 jobs to be filled. Google will need the additional talent if it plans to take on Baidu (opens in new tab), Tencent, Alibaba and other Chinese firms in the field of AI.
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