Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced in a press release on Wednesday the plans for an artificial intelligence research center to be opened in China, which would be the first of it’s kind. Ironically, China blocks the Google web search engine. The company hopes to take advantage of the nation’s “local talent”.
In the statement, Google said the existing office in Beijing will house a small team of engineers. The venture will join a small handful of other facilities in London, New York, Zurich and Toronto. The Artificial intelligence (AI) facility will be the first of its kind in Asia.
The Chinese government is very supportive of advancing study into the new technology. They have also imposed restrictive censorship laws over the internet. Not being able to enjoy the freedom of speech, China does not allow content to be displayed that may disagree with the party.
As of 2010, the search engine has been restricted to Hong Kong. Currently on the mainland, Google is just another blocked website. Blocked as well are the Google app, email, YouTube and other services.
— David Brin (@DavidBrin) December 8, 2017
The common carrier has recently come under fire as some nations push for litigation and lawsuit. Google has been asked to pay a few million dollars for their anti-trust actions.
Like China, Google is also trying to silence their competition. Also like China, Google censors and controls what their users see. If Chinese policies do not change, it would be unlikely for Google to enter their marketplace even with the increased censorship.
The tech corporation has seemed ever more determined to showcase their AI to the foreign state. During a Baduk tournament in eastern China this year, local authorities allowed for their AI to compete. The world champion Go player, China’s Ke Jie was matched against the computer software. Although highly publicized around the world, China saw very little media about the event.
The DeepMind program had beaten the reigning world champion, South Korean Lee Se-dol, prior to the Chinese tournament. The applet, AlphaGo, is very popular among the Chinese and Korean markets. During the tournament in China, viewers had to stream the event online using a virtual proxy network.
During a Cyberspace Administration of China conference earlier this month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made an appearance. The tech CEO took the opportunity to ask questions of the states top cyber regulator. Choosing not to discuss market access, rather questions were posed about the possible future of AI.
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— flux Technology Afr. (@fluxtechafrica) December 14, 2017
China is the largest gap in Googles corporate empire. One Third of the phones in China are Google Android smart phones. None of the consumers can access the Google Play app store however.
During President Trumps Asia Pacific Tour, the President of the United States met at length with Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China. After many discussions about geopolitical and economic interests, the President left the oriental nation with a surplus of trade deals.
$250 billion of trade deals have been agreed upon. In the largest trade agreement ever signed not including arms deals, China is expected to acquire 7,240 Boeing Aircraft over the next 20 years. This number does not include the initial purchase of 300 planes.
China has become the largest consumer of commercial aviation products. One of every four passenger planes purchased is Chinese. Boeings most demanded plane, the 737, sells every third one manufactured to China.
After visiting the Forbidden City, President Trump gave an address in Beijing. President Trump commented on the one-sided aspect of the trade deficit we have been cultivating with China over the last decade. The president does not vilify China for taking advantage of the United States, but rather demands that it will not continue.
In a one two punch, General Electronics Co. also reached an agreement Thursday to sell $3.5 billion worth of parts to Chinese companies, including airplane engines. Qualcomm, Ford, Dow, Goldman & Sachs, Honeywell, and many more announced a slew of during President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing. Valued at $250 billion, a trade deal as large as this will surely bring the two nations closer together.
The overwhelming number of manufacturing plants being created in China is a testimony to their automation efforts. The more robots being introduced into the workplace, the greater the need for both independent and collective thought. Once the robots are able to solve real situations on their own their efficiency will exponentially grow. Last week, the Google’s AI taught itself chess in four hours, then proceeded to beat the reigning chess computer.