Baidu to increase investment in AI and cloud, plans for 5 million servers

Baidu says it has “trained more than 1 million AI talents” and “cooperated with more than 200 universities”

On Friday, Chinese tech company Baidu laid out the details of its plan to increase its investment in artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, data centers and chips over the next decade. Specifically, Baidu intends to have more than 5 million intelligent cloud servers by 2030, which, according to the company, aligns with China’s timeline to become a global leader in AI.

While a monetary value was not revealed, the company’s statement went on to claim that by 2030, Baidu cloud servers’ computing capability should be seven times stronger than the combined computing power of the world’s top 500 supercomputers.

Additionally, in an effort to better prepare for the upcoming change in direction, the statement claims that Baidu has “trained more than 1 million AI talents” and “cooperated with more than 200 universities.”

Currently, Baidu has data centers covering more than 10 regions including Beijing, Baoding, Suzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Yangquan, Xi’an, Wuhan and Hong Kong.

It is not the only Chinese company to reveal an increased interest in cloud and AI technologies. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has heightened demand for cloud computing services and technology, Alibaba revealed in April that it will invest 200 billion yuan ($28.26 billion) in its cloud computing division over the next three years. Specifically, the company said that the funds will go towards infrastructure and technologies related to operating systems, servers, chips and networks.

Tencent also unveiled plans to invest $70 billion in “new infrastructure” supporting AI and cloud computing in May.

“The new infrastructure will become the new kinetic energy for China’s economic development in the coming decades. Emerging technologies represented by artificial intelligence, cloud computing, 5G, Internet of Things and blockchain are its key technical support,” Baidu CTO Wang Haifeng said in the company’s statement.

 

 

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