Google opens Chinese AI centre

Muriel Hammond
December 15, 2017

This will mark as the company's first such AI facility in Asia, after the ones in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich.

In a blog post announcing the move, Li notes that the company is now hiring for positions at the lab-something media outlets picked up on a few months ago.

The tech giant operates two offices in China, with roughly half of its 600 employees working on global products, according to its company spokesperson, but Google's search engine and a number of other services are banned in China.

The fight between tech companies for AI talent is fierce and global, with Google announcing today that it will create a new research lab in China dedicated exclusively to artificial intelligence. This is why, seven years ago, Google drastically slashed its business interests in China, even threatening to leave the country entirely: Chinese censorship and government control simply went against the values of Google as an entity, and Google wouldn't play ball. In July, Beijing launched a directive called the "Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan", which outlines a policy plan to turn China into a "primary innovation center" for AI by 2030. Further, a few days back, CEO Sundar Pichai attended the conference run by the Cyberspace Administration of China, where he talked about the potential of Artificial Intelligence.

As Li writes in her blog post: "I believe AI and its benefits have no borders".

Recently, in a blog post on the company's website, Google stated that the new research center was an important part of its mission as an "AI first company". So the center wants to do its best to organize events and workshops in China to tap into this talent. "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".

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