Today, we are excited to announce the hiring of three world-renowned artificial intelligence scientists, Dr. Kenneth Church, Dr. Jun Huan and Dr. Hui Xiong, and the establishment of two additional AI labs, the Business Intelligence Lab and the Robotics and Autonomous Driving Lab, as part of Baidu’s push to strengthen fundamental AI research and development.
Adding to Baidu Research’s powerful roster of AI experts, the new hires will help to grow Baidu Research and advance AI development in China and around the world:
- Dr. Kenneth Church is a pioneering and highly influential research scientist in Natural Language Processing (NLP). He founded Empirical Methods on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), one of the most influential NLP conferences, where he also served as the president for several years. In 2012, Dr. Church served as the president of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), the most prestigious international academic association in the field of NLP. Prior to joining Baidu Research, Dr. Church had worked at IBM Watson Research Center, Johns Hopkins University, Microsoft and AT&T Labs-Research. Dr. Church holds a PhD in computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Dr. Jun Huan is an expert in big data and data mining, and was previously Professor of Computer Science at the University of Kansas. Dr. Hui Xiong, a Professor at Rutgers University, is focused on research in data and knowledge engineering.
“AI’s significance is already evident,” said Dr. Kenneth Church. “In addition to its commitment to fundamental research, Baidu is also 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. I’m excited to join this talented group of researchers and engineers at Baidu to explore the next frontier of AI.”
The new 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 concentrate on computer vision, particularly in autonomous driving in order to solidify Baidu’s base technologies in this field. The new labs will bring Baidu Research’s presence to a total of five labs, adding to the existing Institute of Deep Learning (IDL), Big Data Lab (BDL) and Silicon Valley Artificial Intelligence Lab (SVAIL). Together, the labs will continue to focus on fundamental research in their specialized areas to work toward the long-term innovation of fundamental AI technologies. They will also work with corresponding Baidu AI technology departments to drive Baidu’s AI development and accelerate commercialization.
Baidu Research was first established in 2014 to focus on future-looking fundamental research in AI. It is part of Baidu’s Artificial Intelligence Group (AIG), a dedicated AI business unit established in March 2017, which now has more than 2,000 scientists and engineers.
Baidu has built a complete AI technology infrastructure that is composed of four layers: the algorithm layer, perceptron layer, cognitive layer and platform layer. Baidu has opened more than 90 core AI capabilities in voice, image, video, augmented reality, NLP, knowledge graph and data intelligence, among others, which are available to developers and partners through open APIs and SDK.
“This is the beginning of a new journey for Baidu Research,” said Haifeng Wang, Vice President of Baidu and Head of Baidu’s Artificial Intelligence Group (AIG) and Baidu Research. “Our mission will be centered on conducting future-looking fundamental research, setting the direction for Baidu’s future AI development and empowering the company’s long-term strategy.”