Lin Yuanqing, former director of Baidu’s Institute of Deep Learning (IDL) overseeing the Chinese tech giant’s endeavor in facial recognition technology, has stepped down, local media is reporting. Lin will move onto starting his own venture, with the aim to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to the upgrade of traditional industries.

Baidu has lost a couple of key leaders in recent months. In March its chief scientist Andrew Ng, a globally respected figure in the field of deep learning, resigned. Baidu then consolidated its existing research groups under a new leader, Haifeng Wang. In September, Adam Coates, director of Baidu’s Silicon Valley AI Lab, also left, but both Coates and Baidu declined to comment on the departure.

Lin has contributed to a range of Baidu’s AI businesses, from deep learning to autonomous driving, since joining in November 2015. He is considered an important face during Baidu IDL’s “golden age.” IDL is one of three labs under Baidu’s research umbrella alongside the Silicon Valley AI Lab and the Big Data Lab.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.