Focused on basic AI research, the Center will consist of a team of AI researchers in Beijing, supported by Google China's strong engineering teams. With the announcement, Google is acknowledging the growing importance of China for the future of AI.
Google is opening an artificial intelligence center in China, a market where its internet search engine, email and YouTube video website have been blocked. It's also why access to Google's most popular services are for the most part blocked in China.
I believe AI and its benefits have no borders. Despite being booted out years ago, the company has been slowly been building its presence in the country, and seems to view AI as a convenient way in.
China will be Google's first hub in Asia for AI development, the company said in a blog post December 13, 2017.
Google's parent company Alphabet announced the plan in a blog post Wednesday. In China, Google has deployed some of the best talent in the field, and presently, there are over 20 jobs open, notes TechCrunch. "Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Beijing or anywhere else, it has the potential to make everyone's life better". The news comes amid Google's efforts to interest Chinese technology companies in TensorFlow.
Most importantly, the lab should attract local AI talent who might not otherwise have the opportunity to work for Google.
In fact, China's work in the artificial intelligence industry has been monumental, a direct result of the government investing substantial amounts of money into research.
Google's new lab will face fierce competition attracting researchers, though, especially as local giants like Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba pour more and more money into the sector. 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.