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Google planning to open an artificial intelligence centre in China

Google is planning to open an artificial intelligence centre in China.

It is trying to dig hard into artificial intelligence (AI) by opening a research centre in China, even though its search services remain blocked in the country.

The company has clarified that the facility will be the first its kind in Asia and will aim to employ local talent. Silicon Valley is focusing heavily on the future applications for AI. China has also indicated strong support for AI development and catching up with the US.

Research into artificial intelligence will prove beneficial for the improvement in a range of technologies, from self-driving cars and automated factories to translation products and facial recognition software.

Google said in a blog post on the company’s website, ‘the new research centre was an important part of its mission as an AI first company’.

Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist at Google Cloud AI and Machine Learning elaborated, “Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Beijing or anywhere else, (AI) has the potential to make everyone’s life better for the entire world.”

This new research centre, which joins similar facilities in London, New York, Toronto and Zurich, will be run by a small team from its existing office in Beijing.

Taj Meadows, Google spokesperson said in a statement given in the media, “The tech giant operates two offices in China, with roughly half of its 600 employees working on global products”

As China have imposed increasingly strict rules on foreign companies over the past year, including new censorship restrictions. Google’s search engine and a number of other services are banned in China.

China has for many years censored content it sees as politically sensitive, using an increasingly sophisticated set of filters that critics have called the ‘great firewall’.

But now China has been expanding its push into artificial intelligence. In July, China announced its national plan for AI, calling for the country to catch up with the US.