Google launches a AI Center in China

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Li said she would be leading and coordinating the research alongside Dr. Jia Li, the head of research and development at Google Cloud AI. The company's most successful services are generally blocked in the country. Google's search engine is banned in the Chinese market along with its app store, email and cloud storage services. Its acceptance of Google's AI research hub plans shows a desire to grasp the company's technological prowess, seen as the most advanced in the world. The field is now one of the most competitive in technology, driven by demand for skilled experts.

Google said this new Chinese AI research center is the first such center in Asia.

"I believe AI and its benefits have no borders", Li wrote in a blog post that also announced the new center.

"It will be a small team focused on advancing basic AI research in publications, academic conferences and knowledge exchange", said Fei-Fei Li, the chief scientist at Google's cloud unit who will lead the Beijing research center.

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She also stated that since Google is an "AI first company", it is an important part of their collective mission, and thus, Google wants to hire the best talent across the globe to achieve their AI mission. "Google is for everyone", Google CEO Sundar Pichai said past year, "We want to be in China serving Chinese users".

Russian President Vladimir Putin predicted in September that whoever becomes the leader in artificial intelligence "will become the ruler of the world".

China is now leading the way in significant areas of AI development, Li explained, pointing out how 43 per cent of content in the top 100 AI journals of 2015 were from Chinese contributors. And this year, Google began offering its translation software in China.

The country's internet censorship, known colloquially as the Great Firewall of China, censors news stories and reports deemed to portray China or its government and key figures in a negative light. Tech giants Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu have each plowed resources into various AI fields, including facial recognition, voice assistants, and automation. Chinese consumers tend to provide more personal information than Western counterparts, giving AI providers detailed datasets to train neural networks with.