Ex-Executive Vice President of Services and Applications Group at Microsoft, Dr. Qi Lu, has been hired by Chinese web services company Baidu as COO and head of several departments.
Dr. Lu’s experience is vast, as is his exposure to managing large divisions at Microsoft and Yahoo. But Baidu is keenly interested in his skills and experience in the field of artificial intelligence.
According to Baidu CEO Robin Li:
“Dr. Lu possesses a wealth of leadership and management experience, and is a leading authority in the area of artificial intelligence. I’m confident that Dr Lu will make major contributions to the overall strength of our management and technology.”
Dr. Qi Lu also commented on his joining Baidu:
“I am delighted to join Baidu. Baidu is well known as one of China’s top technology companies, and is already recognized on the global stage as a leader in AI.”
It’s clear that they want him for their AI initiatives, which are grouped under Baidu Research. The division covers various artificial intelligence technologies like speech recognition, image recognition, big data, robotics and natural language processing. The division itself is made up of three units: Big Data Lab, Institute of Deep Learning and Silicon Valley AI Lab.
Baidu’s most recent achievement in the field of AI is the launch of Melody, a conversational bot that integrates with the Baidu Doctor mobile app and helps doctors assess treatment options for their patients.
Another key accomplishment is the launch of DeepBench, the first open source benchmarking tool for deep learning application performance across various hardware platforms.
Baidu has also featured on two major lists. The first is the list of 50 Smartest Companies 2016, where Baidu made it to the number 2 position behind Amazon and ahead of companies like Tesla Motors (#4), Alphabet (#8), Huawei (#10) and NVIDIA (#12). The second list is Forbes’ World’s Most Innovative Companies, where Baidu made it to #29.
Baidu trades as BIDU on Nasdaq, and commands a valuation of around $61 billion.
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