About six miles south of the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif., is the town of Cupertino. And that’s where Chinese search company Baidu is opening a new office that will be home to something called The Institute of Deep Learning.
There, Baidu will be trying to build computers that mimic the human brain, thinking and learning like humans do, reports Wired’s Daniela Hernandez.
Baidu is certainly not alone in the quest for more human-like computers. Google is obviously working on this too. About five months ago, Google nabbed one of the world’s best-known advocates in the area of artificial intelligence when it hired legendary “futurist” Ray Kurzweil as its director of engineering.
Kurzweil is working on a similar project for Google. “We want to give computers the ability to understand the language that they’re reading,” Kurzweil explained in an interview with Singularity Hub.
Baidu’s research team leader Kai Yu is pretty straightforward about why the Chinese company chose Cupertino: he’s trying to keep talented engineers out of Google’s grasp.
“In Silicon Valley, you have access to a huge talent pool of really, really top engineers and scientists, and Google is enjoying that kind of advantage,” Yu told Hernandez.
This isn’t the only Google-like project Baidu is working on either. Earlier this month, it confirmed rumours that it is developing a Google Glass-like wearable computer code-named ‘Baidu Eye’, the Next Web reported. It also said it has no plans yet to launch it as a consumer product.