BEIJING, Dec. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU and HKEX: 9888) successfully opened Baidu Create 2021 today, the first day of a three-day annual flagship developers' conference on its metaverse app XiRang. The event was also China's first-ever metaverse technology symposium.
A recording of the 2021 Baidu Create main forum is available on Baidu's official YouTube channel.
Dubbed the "Land of Hope", the XiRang platform enables up to 100,000 online attendees to interact simultaneously in the same space. Speaking at the opening of the conference ̶ held under the theme "Creators' Spirit" ̶ Baidu Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Co-Founder, Robin Li, said that the era of man-computer symbiosis had arrived, and that creators would usher in a Golden era of AI over the next 10 years, calling the technology a powerful tool that will change the world.
Li elaborated on how AI can help with the reconstruction of industries and benefit humanity by expanding the boundaries of what is possible for mankind. With more than 10 years' experience of exploration and experimentation into AI, Baidu is widely seen as the leader in the development of AI in China.
Intelligent transportation will lift purchase restrictions in China's first-tier cities within five years
Social progress is mainly driven by technological innovation. As the technological wave unfolds, AI has become a tool for a new generation of creators to change the world.
According to Li, intelligent transportation will see a significant transformation in the next 10-40 years that will greatly influence our future. Purchase restrictions limiting the number of cars sold in China's first-tier cities, and number plate restrictions reducing by 20% the number of cars on the roads on weekdays will be lifted within five years and improved traffic efficiency will solve urban congestion within 10 years.
Li believes that intelligent transportation can address three major problems: Firstly, it can reduce road traffic accidents by 90%. Secondly, the problem of urban congestion can be resolved. Lastly, autonomous driving and intelligent transportation will help reduce carbon emissions.
From autonomous driving to smart cars and smart roads, Baidu has deeply integrated AI, 5G and cloud computing into the transportation sector. With a total of 115,000 rides provided by the third quarter of 2021, Baidu's autonomous ride-hailing platform "Apollo Go" has become the largest autonomous mobility service provider in the world. Baidu's future goal is to expand the "Apollo Go" service to 65 cities by 2025 and 100 cities by 2030. Baidu AIR intelligent road system will achieve real-time optimization of "city-level" signal control at hundreds of thousands of road intersections, greatly enhancing vehicle safety over millions of kilometers across the country.
Baidu believes that automotive robots will be the ultimate form of vehicle transportation in the future. Having L4 intelligent driving capabilities, Baidu's smart EV venture, Jidu Auto, has been designed to operate under the concepts of "free movement", "natural communication", and "self-improvement". Li said that Jidu is planning to release its first concept car in the first half of 2022, followed by mass production and delivery by 2023.
At the conference, Li also had an in-depth dialogue with astrochemist and geochemist Ziyuan Ouyang, first chief scientist of the Chinese lunar exploration project and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, on how AI can be applied in aerospace and future trends in space exploration. Li said that AI's cognitive and control capabilities play a very important role in deep space exploration, helping robots learn about the external environment autonomously so they can independently make informed decisions and judgments.
Baidu released smart cloud digital avatar platform XiLing
At the convention, Baidu Chief Technology Officer Haifeng Wang released Baidu AI Cloud digital avatar platform XiLing, which is a platform level product integrating digital avatar generation and content production. It can provide creation and operation one-stop services such as virtual host, virtual idol, brand spokesperson creation and operation for radio, television, Internet, brand and other customers.
AI toolkit: PaddlePaddle gathers over 4 million developers
A great proponent of open source and openness, Baidu began research and development (R&D) into AI 11 years ago. Organizations and creators without IT resources and R&D capabilities have been able to access Baidu's technology platforms to help drive AI application.
Apart from providing an "AI toolkit" to creators, Baidu Brain also provides the technological foundation for digital transformation in society and many industries. With years of experience in technological development, Baidu Brain's approach relies on standardization, automation and modularization for industrial mass production, which allows it to evolve into an AI mass production platform. "Wenxin" (文心), Baidu Brain's recently-released technological breakthrough, is the world's first knowledge-enhanced 100-billion-scale pre-trained language model and the largest Chinese-language monolithic model.
Baidu's open-source deep-learning platform PaddlePaddle has garnered 4.06 million developers, served more than 157,000 enterprises and units, covered dozens of industries, and created almost 500,000 models. PaddlePaddle's combined market share ranks first among China's deep-learning platforms.
Computing power is one of the core elements to support AI development. Baidu created the base for green computing, including self-developed Kunlun AI chips, an AI heterogeneous computing platform Baige, and a green data center to support AI technology research and a wide range of applications. It also advocates for energy conservation to achieve sustainable development.
Baidu has achieved outstanding performance in cutting-edge fields, including biological computing and quantum computing, by riding on successive technological innovations in algorithms, platforms, and computing power. Baidu introduced the first algorithm for mRNA in the industry, which could generate optimized mRNA sequences within 10 minutes.
Based on the innovation outcomes of core technologies, open platforms, computing power and cutting-edge technologies, Baidu Brain can support across 1,400 capabilities. Baidu AI Cloud can distribute the AI technology capabilities to various industries, contributing to digital transformation and intelligent enhancement of China's industries, economy and society. In the industrial arena, Baidu offers Industrial Internet services to enable companies to reduce production costs, improve quality, increase efficiency and push for comprehensive transformation and improvement. In energy, Baidu cooperates with industry partners to promote business innovation and explore new paths for energy saving and carbon reduction.
From cutting-edge technologies of the future to large industries that affect the country's economy and people's livelihoods, from the front line of urban construction and rural revitalization to people's everyday lives, developers from all walks of life are leveraging Baidu Brain to create a better world.
Nurturing 5 million AI talent in 5 years
Innovation requires talent with fresh perspectives and creativity. Baidu continues to invest in the training of AI talent.
The Baidu Scholarship was established in 2013 to recognize Chinese students with great potential and excellence in AI research around the world. Li awarded Baidu scholarships to 10 outstanding young students at the conference. He said, looking at these students, he sees "innovation" in these bright minds. He also sees their determination and unrelenting efforts towards realizing their dreams in scientific research and their imminent bright future.
In addition, Baidu has created a new model in jointly training AI talent with governments, enterprises, and universities. In August this year, Baidu established the "Baidu Pinecone Academy", built on PaddlePaddle to integrate basic AI courses, practical teaching, technical competitions, industry training, and scientific research funds to create an AI talent training platform.
As of now, Baidu has cultivated more than 1 million AI talents. Li said that Baidu would continue to promote the cultivation of AI talent in the future and nurture 5 million AI specialists within five years.
"Creators are our companions in pursuing our dreams of technology, they are also one of the great driving forces of human progress," Li said.
Founded in 2000, Baidu's mission is to make the complicated world simpler through technology. Baidu is a leading AI company with strong Internet foundation, trading on the NASDAQ under "BIDU" and HKEX under "9888." One Baidu ADS represents eight Class A ordinary shares.