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Chinese students work on the Ares, a humanoid bipedal robot designed by them with fundings from a Shanghai investment company, displayed during the World Robot Conference in Beijing. China's government announced Thursday, July 21, 2017, a goal of transforming the country into a global leader in artificial intelligence in just over a decade, putting additional political support behind growing investment by Chinese companies in developing self-driving cars and other advances. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
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JOINT VENTURE

Half of the top 10 employers of AI talent in China are American

Echo Huang
By Echo Huang

Reporter

China aims to become the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030. If it succeeds, it will be in no small part thanks to the expertise developed by US firms operating in China.

Of China’s top 10 employers in AI, half are American, according to a report (link in Chinese) by LinkedIn’s China team. The researchers counted positions in AI fields including deep learning, voice recognition, and natural-language processing.

Among the top US firms in China hiring AI talent are IBM, Intel, and Microsoft (the parent of LinkedIn). Many Chinese AI professionals have honed their skills at the local branches of such companies. Among China’s top employers in the field are smartphone maker Huawei, search firm Baidu, and e-commerce giant Alibaba.

In March, Baidu promoted Qi Lu, an AI expert who worked at Microsoft, to become its head of AI. Qi replaced Andrew Ng, a Silicon Valley veteran. As Baidu develops its offerings in facial recognition and driverless cars, it knows that US firms nurtured much of its most important AI expertise.

According to the report, China has about 50,000 AI positions. That lags far behind the US, which has about 800,000 more.

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