Jan 18, 2018

Baidu expands AI labs and makes key hires

Photo: AFP/Getty

Baidu announced Thursday it made a trio of hires and is establishing two new AI labs — one focused on business intelligence and the other on robotics and autonomous driving.

Why it matters: These are both hot research areas and represent Baidu's biggest moves in AI since Andrew Ng left last March.

Here are the new hires:

  • Former IBM, Microsoft and AT&T Labs researcher Kenneth Church, an influential research scientist in natural language processing.
  • Big Data expert Jun Huan, formerly a computer science professor at the University of Kansas.
  • Rutgers University professor Hui Xiong, whose research focuses on data engineering.

“This is the beginning of a new journey for 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,” Baidu research head Haifeng Wang said in a statement.

Go deeper

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.

Brace yourself for a coronavirus outbreak

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Public-health officials’ warnings about the coronavirus are sounding increasingly urgent, with one top CDC official asking the public yesterday "to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad."

Reality check: Other administration officials, including President Trump himself, were more subdued in their assessments. But underneath those tonal differences, the reality of the coronavirus is the same: It spreads quickly, and has already spread to many countries, making it likely to start spreading here, too.

Go deeperArrow54 mins ago - Health

Exclusive: Pro-Trump group plans post-Super Tuesday blitz on Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the debate stage in South Carolina. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group's plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.