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Baidu opens R&D lab in Singapore

Chinese answer to Google gets into speech recognition

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China’s search giant Baidu is following Google's polyglot path by opening its first tech lab in Singapore.

The lab, branded the Baidu-I²R Research Centre (BIRC) is a joint venture with Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and will create new technologies to deploy through the Southeast Asian region.

The R&D lab, located in tech park Fusionopolis, is the first international expansion of its kind for Baidu, which already has offices in China and in Silicon Valley.

The initiative has already created two speech recognition technology platforms which have been licensed for adoption by Baidu but have yet to be commercialised.

The projects enable search for Vietnamese and Thai language via speaker verification technology that recognises the speaker’s identity within three seconds of speech.

The lab is working on a range of projects that include Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval and Information Extraction and Speech Information Processing systems which Baidu will use to enhance the capabilities of Baidu’s Box Computing and Baidu Cloud mobile platforms.

The Speaker Verification technology will be integrated into Baidu’s platform for mobile devices.

A*STAR’s technology transfer arm, Exploit Technologies and Baidu signed a licensing agreement at the official opening of the lab yesterday.

“We can now further accelerate cooperative efforts already underway. The synergies between Baidu and I2R are clear from the fruits already borne out by our cooperation,” said Baidu VP Wang Mengqiu.

The I2R R&D lab is also working with Huawai on various projects and is attempting to lure many more technology companies to the centre for collaboration. ®

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