Baidu Announces Plans for AI, Cloud, Data Centers Investmentby Vivek Kumar June 23, 2020
Baidu sets to augment its technological infrastructures such as AI, chips, cloud computing and data centers in the next decade.
Baidu, an Internet company, recently announced its plans to increase investments in technological infrastructure such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, data centers and chips in the next ten years. According to the company, its intelligent cloud servers will reach over 5 million by 2030, which should be seven times powerful than the combined computing power of the world’s top 500 supercomputers. Moreover, the company plans to train 5 million AI talents in the next five years that will help provide an AI talent pool for the development of China’s smart economy and society.
Reportedly, Baidu has worked with more than 200 China-based higher education institutions in order to jointly develop courses related to deep learning and AI. According to a report, AI has become the fastest expanding discipline at mainland Chinese universities. This is largely owing to the country’s ambitions to become a global leader in the field of artificial intelligence. In this way, China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) approved applications from 180 colleges to set up new AI-related majors for undergraduate students in 2019, which was up from 35 a year ago.
As part of the new announcement, the new infrastructure supports technology and science-based developments including AI, IoT, big data, robotics and 5G, among others. According to Baidu CTO Wang Haifeng, the new infrastructure will become the new kinetic energy for China’s economic development in the coming decades. Emerging technologies represented by artificial intelligence, cloud computing, 5G, Internet of Things, and block chain are its key technical support.
Baidu currently has data centers operating in different parts of the country. As the largest search engine in China, the company’s flagship Yangquan data center offers over 1 million square feet of available space and is able to host 120,000 servers storing 4,000 petabytes of data. The company has also trained more than 1 million AI talents and cooperated with over 200 universities to provide deep learning and artificial intelligence courses.
Baidu always aims to bring innovation to the world. In 2018, the internet company introduced EZDL service platform, promoting it as a way to build custom artificial intelligence models using a drag-and-drop interface. The platform covers three primary capabilities, image classification, object detection, and sound classification. In the same year, Baidu announced the establishment of Institute for Quantum Computing, with the purpose to build bridges between quantum computing and AI. The company announced a quantum machine learning development toolkit Paddle Quantum which can assist scientists and developers to quickly build and train quantum neural network models.
Based on Baidu’s deep learning platform PaddlePaddle, Paddle Quantum designs to support advanced quantum computing applications and enable developers in the quantum field to use the Paddle Quantum to develop quantum artificial intelligence. Along with the release of Paddle Quantum, the company has also announced seven new tools, with 27 improved features for the upgrade of PaddlePaddle, which is seeing strong adoption with over 1.9 million developers. According to Baidu, as of May 2020, more than 84,000 enterprises have used PaddlePaddle to create over 230,000 models.