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#AI News: Baidu (NASDAQ: $BIDU) Releases DuerOS Open Platform, Creating an Intelligent Voice Ecosystem for the Industry


BEIJING - July 7, 2017 ( Newswire) Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) on Wednesday released the DuerOS Open Platform, a conversation-based artificial intelligence (AI) platform that provides development tools and skill kits for developers looking to quickly build intelligent devices that anyone can interact with primarily through voice and natural language conversation.

More than 100 partners are already using the DuerOS platform, including hardware manufacturers, chip makers, content providers and more. Some brands using DuerOS include NVIDIA, Haier, Media, HTC, Vivo, and Harman.

At Baidu Create, Baidu's first AI developer conference, in Beijing, Baidu Vice Chairman, Group President, and COO Qi Lu, said: "The release of the DuerOS Open Platform is a very important step in Baidu's open AI ecosystem strategy. I believe this move will help attract more developers to work together with Baidu."

With the launch of the open platform, Baidu aims to give traditional enterprises and developers the tools they need to easily build their own intelligent, voice-enabled devices. The platform provides multiple whole-package solutions and development-kits for hardware partners that help lower the barriers to building a voice-first device, as well as enabling developers to build additional skills in the system. The goal of DuerOS is to become the fundamental operating framework for every conversational device, essentially creating the "Android" for the AI era.

"Baidu is building DuerOS to enable everyone - whether they're a large enterprise, small business or developer - to create their own intelligent voice-enabled device without high levels of investment. By integrating Baidu's AI technology, data, content and ecosystems, DuerOS is committed to strengthening the ecosystem for manufacturers and developers by reducing barriers to access interactive AI, so that all voice-enabled devices can really hear, understand, and meet users' needs," said Kun Jing, General Manager of Baidu's Duer Business Unit.

Voice recognition is the first step toward 'waking up' devices and building human-to-machine interaction. Baidu's voice recognition technology now has a 97 percent accuracy rate. Baidu also has advanced microphone functionalities, echo cancellation, voice 'wake-up' and face recognition technologies, which, when accompanied with voice recognition technology, boost user experience across the board, whether in their home, on their cell phone or in the car.

These breakthroughs enable the platform to understand users' voice commands, thanks to Baidu's years of research in deep learning, natural language processing, multiple dialogues and search, along with its vast database of user search behavior, knowledge graphs, speech and voice requests.

"Beyond the extensive content we already have, Baidu will collaborate with third-party content providers and developers to contribute more content for DuerOS," Jing said. The DuerOS Bot Platform (DBP) for instance, which includes over 100 capabilities and enables individual developers and third parties to contribute and publish their own capabilities, resources and content, is the capacity layer of the DuerOS Open Platform. Today the bot platform has native skills in 10 major categories, including entertainment, information services and lifestyle services, among others.

In the era of AI, hardware and software increasingly require further integration. DuerOS provides high-quality, comprehensive and free-of-charge resources for developers, manufacturers and ecosystem partners, such as the DuerOS Conversational Service (DCS), SDK client, DuerOS dev-kit and DuerOS reference hardware product. These resources make it easier for developers to add intelligence to their products and greatly reduce R&D costs.

At Baidu Create, Baidu also announced the full acquisition of Seattle-based AI startup, which specializes in natural language understanding with a focus on Amazon's Alexa platform. The company received funding from the Alexa Fund and participated in Paul Allen's AI2 incubator program.

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