How Baidu uses Big Data in practice
The basic idea behind machine and deep learning is that, once we teach computers to learn in the same way we do, they can absorb and process Big Data at a tremendous rate –quickly becoming at least, if not more, reliable than humans when it comes to making decisions.
Like Google, Baidu’s core service is search – Baidu is said to account for 75% of search traffic in its homeland. Here, it has rolled out machine learning algorithms for voice and image recognition, as well as natural language processing, to help it return smarter, more useful and more personalised results.
Another recently unveiled initiative at Baidu is the integration of its machine learning with its ongoing innovation in augmented reality (AR). Mostly it seems this work is currently focused on marketing, such as AR advertising campaigns created for Baidu customers such as KFC and L’Oreal.
In the home, Baidu is attempting to tackle Amazon’s Alexa head on with its XiaoyuZaikia (Little Fish) home robot – which, unlike Amazon’s system, is capable of turning its “head” to listen to whomever is speaking to it. Users can control smart home equipment and order goods online using its natural language processing interface.
The technical details
Baidu makes its technology available to third parties, such as other companies that want to benefit from the AI revolution but don’t have the resources to develop their own algorithms and applications. Much of its software and systems have been made open source and it also provides access to its technology on an “as-a-service” basis. Businesses and organisations can use Baidu’s systems to host their own data and run their own analytics projects in the cloud, paying only for the storage and computing resources they use.
Ideas and insights you can steal
As these very brief examples show, Baidu has shown itself to be a real innovator when it comes to AI and machine learning. What any business leader should take away from this is the need to keep an open mind about new technologies and the real-world benefits they can offer. For example, just a few years ago, the possibility of integrating AR into a marketing campaign would have seemed pretty wild. Now, at least among bigger organisations, it’s becoming more common. When it comes to Big Data and related technologies, things are moving fast and it pays to keep abreast of the key developments.
You can read more about how companies are using Big Data to drive success in Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results.
Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the field of business and technology. He is the author of 18 best-selling books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has 2 million social media followers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.