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The new AI Team; Baidu and Qualcomm

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Qualcomm and Baidu have announced a strategic alliance to create an AI voice solution based on the new Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform and Baidu’s DuerOS Conversational AI System.

The aim will be to optimize Baidu’s DuerOS conversational artificial intelligence (AI) system for smartphones on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform to create a smart assistant solution for global smartphone and IoT devices. The DuerOS has been around since early 2017, though such a partnership might be a means for Baidu to take another step into the global tech space.

“Qualcomm Technologies continues to drive research into AI, and we are committed to the development of on-device AI, including audio. Qualcomm Technologies is pleased to collaborate with Baidu on AI for voice enabled solutions,” said Keith Kressin, SVP for Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies.

“The collaboration with Baidu will bring AI for voice enabled solutions to next-generation Snapdragon mobile platforms, allowing users to wakeup smartphones and IoT devices using their voice in their natural language at any time and at extremely low power, while utilizing Baidu’s DuerOS voice services.”

“Through the collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, we will bring a new AI voice experience to OEMs of smartphones and IoT devices around the world. Leveraging Baidu’s strengths in AI, big data, knowledge graph, information and services ecosystems, DuerOS will support OEMs with its strong capabilities, while providing users with more comprehensive and quality information and services to satisfy their needs,” said Kun Jing, GM of the Duer business unit at Baidu.

The DuerOS is already in a number of products targeted at the Chinese market, and similar to offers from Google and Amazon, is activated by using the phrase ‘Xiaodu Xiaodu’. The OS already has 130 partners, and is one of the more popular smart assistant choices for third party hardware manufacturers in China. DuerOS has been incorporated into more than 100 branded devices ranging from refrigerators and air conditioners to mobile phones, TV set-top boxes and smart speakers.

While Baidu’s OS is a small player right now, this will certainly be one to keep an eye on. Chinese technology companies are proving very capable of competing on the global stage, so Google and Amazon would be well placed to keep a wary eye on developments here.

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