(Yicai Global) Nov. 10 -- Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU] unveiled its DuerOS Prometheus Project to boost conversational artificial intelligence in Silicon Valley yesteday, online media outlet 36Kr reported.
The project involves releasing three ultra-large datasets covering far-field wake word detection, far-field speech recognition, and multi-turn conversations. Baidu will also create a USD1-million fund to encourage and cultivate outstanding projects and talent in the field.
A lack of real data restricts the development of the technology in science and research, said Dr. Sanjeev Khudanpur, director of the Human Language Technology Center at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US. Khudanpur was excited to see that so many companies, researchers and independent developers will be able to take advantage of the open datasets, and believes they will propel comprehensive development of conversational AI.
"In the age of AI, data is the new oil," said Chen Guoguo, Baidu's principal architect for DuerOS. "It is also the barrier that prevents many smaller organizations and individuals from developing leading edge conversational AI systems. By opening our dataset and offering interdisciplinary collaborations and financial incentives, we hope to accelerate the pace of innovation in this space and advance the future of conversational computing."
The Prometheus Project also seeks to integrate a range of disciplines and cultivate new talent by promoting incentive programs for top workers and products. It will team up with 100 colleges and universities and set up a forum for conversational AI elites and a research laboratory.
DuerOS explores how conversational AI can give users a more intelligent living experience. It has partnered up with several famous firms, including appliance maker Haier Group Corp., investor Legend Holdings Corp. [HKG:3396] and electrics maker TCL Corp. [SHE:000100], in a bid to improve the system's ability to engage in dialogue and give it wider applications in smart homes, smart wearables and vehicle-mounted equipment.
Baidu will officially announce the project in China at the 2017 Baidu World event, to be held in Beijing on Nov. 16.