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Baidu to foster 5 million talents to power AI growth

By FAN FEIFEI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-10-25 13:28

Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu, delivers a speech at the Emerging Engineering International Forum 2021 in Beijing on Oct 24. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc will cultivate 5 million artificial intelligence talents in the next 5 years, aiming to create a well-rounded tech labor force and power AI growth, said Robin Li, co-founder and CEO.

Li made the remarks at the Emerging Engineering International Forum 2021, hosted by his alma mater Peking University, on Saturday. "In daily work, it is very important to shift our mindset from a scientific one to an engineering one – going from a one-step process to a step-by-step process," Li said.

While a scientific approach can produce fruitful and thorough results, an engineering approach is incremental, strategic and ultimately more useful, he added.

According to Li, both Baidu and Tesla are adopting a step-by-step engineering approach to autonomous driving. While Tesla is gradually advancing the autonomous driving levels, Baidu prioritizes expanding the driving range of self-driving vehicles.

By practicing the operation of self-driving cars in smaller areas where the conditions are more conducive to testing, Baidu said they are able to gradually learn and improve to expand the geographical scope of autonomous driving, while gradually upgrading the abilities of the autonomous cars.

Since 2015, the Beijing-based company has supported the Ministry of Education's industry-university cooperation and collaborative education project, training more than 3,000 teachers across more than 700 universities.

Li said in today's world, it is expected that job applicants have an understanding of artificial intelligence to find a job in the technology industry. As such, he has committed the company to develop 5 million AI talents over five years to help job seekers grow their skills toolbox, creating more well-rounded talent.

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