Baidu (BIDU) has hired Andrew Ng, a researcher who formerly headed a Google effort (known as Google Brain) to digitally recreate the human brain (with the goal of solving hard A.I. problems), to head its own A.I. efforts.
Baidu, never shy to take a page from Google, plans to spend ~$300M over the next 5 years on developing A.I. solutions based on deep learning. The technology's applications include natural-language, voice, and image recognition - all three are relevant to search.
Ng will oversee both a Baidu Silicon Valley lab, and a Beijing R&D center. As it is, Baidu's R&D spend rose 57.5% Y/Y in Q1.