Opening the Google AI China Center

Google opens first machine learning research lab in Asia with 'Google AI China Center'

The company's new research center will be led by Fei-Fei Li, who runs Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Lab and heads the artificial intelligence arm of Google's Cloud business, and Jia Li, head of research and development for the AI division of Google Cloud. But with China's online growth accelerating, the search giant is reconsidering its stance: On Monday, it unveiled a China-based center devoted to artificial intelligence (AI). It's also why access to Google's most popular services are for the most part blocked in China. As Li points out in her blog post, "China is home to numerous world's top experts in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning". The news comes amid Google's efforts to interest Chinese technology companies in TensorFlow.

According to Google, it said that the center for AI in China would be the first of its kind in Asia. "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 announcement was made during the Google Developer Days China 2017 via a Google Blog post by Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist for AI and machine learning at Google Cloud. "Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Beijing or anywhere else, it has the potential to make everyone's life better for the entire world", Li wrote in the blog post. "And we want to work with the best AI talent, wherever that talent is, to achieve it".

At the same time, China has been expanding its push into artificial intelligence.

The lab will be similar to other facilities in London, Toronto, New York and Zurich. Earlier this year, Eric Schmidt, chairman of Alphabet, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai visited China.

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