Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
IT | By Lester Massey

Alibaba launches research arm for AI, quantum computing, and other emerging tech

Alibaba launches research arm for AI, quantum computing, and other emerging tech

China's technology conglomerate, Alibaba Group Holding, will increase more than twice its research and development spending (up to Dollars 15 billion) over the next three years to develop the next generation of technology, boost its growing business and explore ambitious projects, which could change the industries.

Over the next three years the group intends to fund projects in data intelligence, Internet of Things, financial technology (or fintech) and quantum computing.

It's called the Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook (referred to as the DAMO Academy for short), and Alibaba plans to recruit 100 researchers to staff labs around the globe.

With the setup of the Academy, the company expects to invest more than US$15billion in research and development over the next three years.

"The labs will help solve issues that Alibaba is now facing across its business lines", Jeff Zhang, Alibaba's chief technology officer, said in a telephone interview. Within those broad research areas, the researchers will turn their attention to topics such as machine learning, network security, visual computing, natural language processing. "With our technology and capital and responsibility, we can build a world-class research institute and if done correctly, it could help 100 billion companies create opportunities and help solve problems for billions of people around the world". They would collaborate with institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley through its RISE Lab. Jeff Zhang, the CTO of Alibaba Group, will lead the academy. "With our global expansion, we have grown and refined our technology manifold", Zhang said in a statement. Alibaba's officials have declared that the advisory board members of the research program will comprise educators and researchers from some of the top universities.

"We are now looking for talented researchers to join us in the quest for new disruptive technologies that would advance out everyday lives".

Apart from Alibaba, other renowned technical giants in China such as Tencent and Baidu have also established R&D labs across the globe to introduce advanced technologies.

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