This year’s Baidu World was aimed at showing how the company’s tech will “Bring AI to life”, and the video and voice recognition demonstrated could start to have a significant impact on how we interact with what now seems like fairly traditional: maps and online video. DuerOS 2.0 was announced, just four months after the initial system was launched in July. Five DuerOS powered devices a month are being launched by third-party developers.

In his opening keynote, Baidu CEO Robin Li announced that every day there are around 218.8 billion uses of the Baidu Brain, the central hub that handles AI tasks such as natural language processing and voice recognition. The repeated message given throughout the day was that we live in a complicated world and Baidu is striving to simplify it for us with a vast array of products. As DuerOS continues to improve and more of Baidu’s AI functions are being shared with partners via its open platform—over 80 capabilities being used by 370,000 partners—Baidu’s AI will spread, though most announcements were still from Baidu’s own departments.

Conference goers were so keen to get a vision of this easy life, a scuffle even erupted at the doors after seats ran out inside.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...