Chinese search engine leader Baidu recently declared its intention to bring AI to everyday life by enabling products and services to adopt Baidu’s AI to better understand and serve consumers, as the company announced its financial results for 2017.
“In 2017, Baidu sharpened its strategic focus. We strengthened our management team and built strong momentum by adopting AI-first in our mobile businesses and investing in new AI businesses,” said Robin Li, Chairman and CEO of Baidu.
“As we enter 2018, we will continue to strengthen Baidu’s search business, fuel feed’s growth and differentiate iQIYI with AI. We also look forward to further strengthening our position in autonomous driving and conversational AI, on top of the strong progress that we have made with Apollo and DuerOS in 2017,” Li added.
“We are deepening user engagement with Baidu core products and helping Baidu customers optimize their ad spend on our platform through the use of AI,” said Qi Lu, COO of Baidu. “On Baidu’s AI-enabled businesses, we are focused on expanding our partner and developer programs for our open platforms Apollo and DuerOS, which we successfully showcased at Baidu World and CES events.”
“Entering 2018, we plan to continue our strategy to exit non-core businesses and increase investments in Baidu’s mobile and new AI businesses, which we believe play to Baidu’s strengths as a technology leader and will sow the seed for Baidu’s future growth in autonomous driving and conversational AI, particularly in the home environment.” said Herman Yu, CFO of Baidu.
Baidu has launched a number of IoT ventures. Among them is a collaboration with the government of Xiong An in China’s Hebei province to develop the new economic zone into a smart city powered by smart transport, voice assistance and cloud computing.
Smart Car Venture
Baidu also partnered with automobile manufacturer Chery to provide functions such as smart voice interaction, smart online navigation, facial identification and interconnected entertainment to Chery’s high-end product EXEED TX. Chery plans to mass-produce Level 3 autonomous vehicles in 2020.
The search giant has formed a strategic partnership with Chinese car-hailing company Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur to fast-track the development of smart transport.
Baidu and NXP Semiconductors have announced a strategic cooperation in autonomous driving. NXP will join Apollo and provide semiconductor products and solutions including millimeter wave radar, V2X, security, smart connectivity and in-vehicle experience technologies.
Other Smart Solutions Launched
Baidu released DuerOS major upgrade version 2.0 with enriched solutions, Bot platform for developers and an improved voice interaction experience. DuerOS has more than 130 partners building over 50 DuerOS-powered hardware products, including televisions, smart speakers, smartphones, smart headsets and more.
DuerOS Intelligent Device Platform launched more turn-key solutions to cover various form factors, including televisions, smart speakers, smartphones, smart headsets and smart robots. DuerOS Bot Platform has garnered over 7,000 skill developers and released over 100 skills.
Baidu formed a strategic partnership with Qualcomm to optimize Baidu’s voice assistant DuerOS for smartphones on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform, including the upcoming Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform.
The company also formed a strategic partnership with NVIDIA to enable NVIDIA SHIELD launched in China to be equipped with Baidu’s voice assistant DuerOS, offering Chinese consumers a cutting-edge gaming, AI and home entertainment experience.
Baidu launched raven H, a smart speaker, as its first 1st party AI hardware. Three new DuerOS-powered smart devices were showcased at CES, including Little Fish VSI smart video speaker, Sengled smart lamp speaker and popIn Aladdin, a smart projector lamp for the Japanese market.