Baidu names artificial intelligence expert, Andrew Ng, as head of Baidu Research

Andrew Ng
Andrew Ng

Baidu, Inc., a leading Chinese language Internet search provider, announced on May 16 the appointment of pioneering Artificial Intelligence (AI) researcher Andrew Ng as Chief Scientist of Baidu. Ng will lead Baidu Research, which operates labs in Beijing and Silicon Valley.

Baidu made the announcement at the grand opening of its U.S. R&D Center in Sunnyvale, CA. The new facility adds research to Baidu’s existing development capabilities in Silicon Valley.

Ng is widely regarded as a leading figure in the field of AI, says a Baidu news release. He is a faculty member in computer science at Stanford University, where he teaches machine learning and has published extensively on topics related to robotics and AI.

Ng founded and led Google’s Deep Learning team, and is known for his work on building massive scale artificial neural networks. He also co-founded Coursera, which offers online courses from top universities, and will retain his position as chairman of Coursera’s board.

“We are delighted to welcome Andrew to our team,” said Robin Li, Baidu’s chairman and chief executive officer. “As a true visionary and key contributor in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Andrew is the ideal individual to lead our research efforts as we enter an era where AI plays an increasingly pronounced role.”

The research labs currently under the umbrella of Baidu Research are the Silicon Valley AI Lab, the Beijing Deep Learning Lab (formerly known as the Institute of Deep Learning), and the Beijing Big Data Lab.

“Baidu Research and its labs will bring together top-flight Chinese, American and global research talent to advance Baidu’s technological leadership,” said Jing Wang, Baidu’s senior vice president. “We are confident that our new U.S. R&D Center will help bring the benefits of tomorrow’s technology to industry and more broadly to society.”

“Baidu is a company with long term vision and deep commitment. I am excited to help Baidu advance fundamental technologies in AI and other areas that can truly change the world,” said Ng.

Baidu launched its Institute of Deep Learning in 2013 and has made significant strides in image recognition and image-based search, voice recognition, natural language processing and semantic intelligence, machine translation and advertising matching, says the news release. These foundational technologies have helped Baidu secure a leading position in search, as well as the fast-growing mobile Internet market in China.

Ng was named in 2013 to the Time 100, the list of “100 Most Influential People in the World,” as well as to Fortune’s “40 under 40” list. He holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University, a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.