Baidu Reveals 4 New Artificial Intelligence Technologies

Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) not too long ago hosted its annual Baidu World Conference in Beijing to showcase its newest applied sciences. The theme of this 12 months’s convention was the “Intelligence of Everything,” with a heavy emphasis on synthetic intelligence (AI) applied sciences in vehicles, wearables, and different related gadgets.

Let’s look at 4 of those new AI technologies, how they’re going to develop Baidu’s ecosystem, and whether or not or not they’ll strengthen its core enterprise — which nonetheless faces stiff competitors from rising rivals like Tencent (OTC:TCEH.Y), Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), and ByteDance.

Baidu CEO Robin Li watches a demonstration of Apollo's new "remote driving" feature.

Image supply: Baidu.

1. Fully autonomous and remotely pushed vehicles

Baidu introduced that its autonomous autos have undergone six million kilometers of open highway assessments, carried 100,000 passengers throughout 27 cities, and skilled zero accidents.

Baidu additionally showcased a completely autonomous robotaxi, which may carry passengers with out a backup driver, and a brand new autonomous valet parking characteristic, and revealed a 5G “remote driving” characteristic which is able to permit human drivers to remotely management autos in case of emergencies.

All these applied sciences are constructed on Baidu’s open-source software program platform Apollo, which is already utilized by over 100 auto and tech firms globally. Baidu notably signed a number of new driverless agreements with Chinese automakers over the previous half 12 months — which is able to possible widen its lead because the nation’s prime supplier of driverless applied sciences.

2. Upgrading DuerOS

Five years in the past, Baidu launched a voice-activated assistant known as Duer. In 2017, it expanded Duer right into a full-blown ecosystem with DuerOS, which may be put in on different {hardware} gadgets. DuerOS now processes over 5.eight billion voice queries per thirty days and is provided with greater than 4,000 abilities.

During the convention, Baidu launched its latest model, DuerOS 6.0, and declared it might “power even more applications and fulfill even more user needs.” Its first DuerOS 6.Zero product, the XiaoduPods, are a pair of wi-fi earbuds which offer voice-controlled search, navigation, calling, and music capabilities.

The XiaoduPods will develop Baidu’s Xiaodu’s model past sensible audio system and screens and doubtlessly widen its moat against Alibaba in China’s smart-speaker market. Expanding its search engine past PCs and telephones into audio system and earbuds may additionally shore up its defenses towards Tencent, which is integrating searches into its WeChat messaging platform and mulling a takeover of Baidu’s prime search rival Sogou (NYSE:SOGO).

Baidu's XiaoduPods.

Image supply: Baidu.

3. A brand new digital assistant

Baidu additionally launched a brand new DuerOS-powered digital assistant app known as Duxiaoxiao, which is personified by an animated avatar. Baidu claims the app “not only provides users with a range of information and services,” however “users can also directly converse with the app to help solve everyday life questions.”

Baidu says Duxiaoxiao will be taught a consumer’s habits and alter its habits to “suit each user’s needs.” The app might be built-in with Baidu’s cellular app, which at present hosts over 230 million every day energetic customers and competes towards Tencent’s WeChat, which serves over a billion every day energetic customers.

Baidu will possible leverage DuerOS and Duxiaoxiao to drag extra customers towards its cellular app’s Smart Mini Programs, which instantly compete towards WeChat’s comparable Mini Programs. Baidu claims its Smart Mini Programs — which offer entry e-commerce, deliveries, and different providers instantly contained in the app — serve roughly 500 million month-to-month energetic customers.

If Baidu can glue collectively its cellular app, autonomous vehicles, sensible audio system, and different related gadgets with DuerOS and Duxiaoxiao, it may future-proof its enterprise and silence the critics who contemplate it an also-ran in China’s quickly evolving tech market.

4. An improve for Baidu Brain

Last however not least, Baidu launched its upgraded Baidu Brain 6.0, the underlying AI infrastructure for its industrial functions and cloud platform. Baidu Brain is already one of many largest open AI platforms on this planet, with 270 core AI capabilities for two.Three million builders. The firm expects it to develop into a “key driver” within the “intelligent transformation of a wide range of industries.”

During the occasion, the corporate showcased Baidu Brain 6.0’s capabilities by letting youthful “virtual” variations of CEO Robin Li and CCTV host Kang Hui — which have been modeled after their appearances, actions, and voices — maintain conversations with their real-life counterparts.

But will these AI efforts generate contemporary progress for Baidu?

Baidu’s AI upgrades are spectacular, however none of those new services will considerably reduce its dependence on digital advertisements and its struggling streaming-video unit iQiyi within the close to future.

But over the long run, Baidu may fulfill its new mantra of “breaking boundaries” by leveraging its AI applied sciences to develop past text-based searches on PCs and cellular gadgets. That growth may assist it maintain tempo with Tencent, Alibaba, and different huge ecosystem rivals.

 

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