The China National Development and Reform Commission has granted Baidu regulatory approval to launch an artificial intelligence research center.

The Chinese search engine will focus on deep learning, computer vision, machine hearing, biometric identification, human-computer interaction, standardized services and intellectual property in deep learning.

It will also participate in the joint development of national laboratories for big data system software and brain-like intelligent technologies and application. Baidu recently also hired Lu Qi, formerly global executive vice president at Microsoft, to lead its AI research.

Earlier this month, Baidu joined a US$27 million series B funding round in a New Zealand-based AI start-up 8i via its US$200 million investment unit Baidu Ventures.

Financial terms of planned investment for Baidu's new AI research center were not released.


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