Despite having several of its different services blocked in China, internet giant Google has picked Beijing to be the location of its first research center for artificial intelligence.
Chief scientist Fei-Fei Li at Google’s AI said that the science of AI does not have any borders; neither do the benefits it offers.
However, the internet borders in China are supported by its Great Firewall and most of the biggest products Google offers including YouTube, Gmail and its search engine, are blocked by the country’s censorship and have been for years.
Google left China during 2010, but the 730 million users of Internet in the country make it too big of a market to completely ignore, and it is no secret Google has a desire to find different ways to increase its presence once again in China.
DeepMind, the artificial intelligent unit at Google teamed up with authorities in China to hold a festival over five days earlier in the year.
The opening of its AI center in China becomes Google’s latest move to charm the Chinese. It comes only months after the Chinese government announced its ambitions to rapidly develop technology, with plans of building an artificial intelligence industry at home that would be worth over $150 billion during the coming years.
China’s ambition is to be an AI superpower for an industry expected to play a significant role in shaping the futures of the human race.
Vladimir Putin the President of Russia predicted this past September that whoever became the artificial intelligence leader would rule the world.
The new center Google is opening will help the Chinese pursue a goal of becoming the leader in the world in AI. The new facility will have a team of AI researchers supported by a group of engineers that the company already employs in China.
Besides the publishing of its work, the AI China Research Center is also going to support the research community for AI by sponsoring and funding AI workshops and conferences, and working together with a vibrant research community specializing in AI, said Li.
However, Google may at times be in tricky situations. The government of China is using AI aggressively for surveillance of its own citizens, which raises concerns amongst different human rights organizations.
In addition, AI experts in China might have problems finding the vast amounts of information offered by Google about AI, due to Academic literature search engine Google Scholar being blocked in China.