This morning, 2017 Baidu Developer Conference held in Beijing National Convention Center. In the morning speech session, Baidu degree secret general manager King Kun announced that Baidu will be wholly-owned acquisition of KITT.AI company, the KITT.AI company's voice and natural language processing capacity into the Baidu platform, a comprehensive free to Baidu Of the partners energetically open.
What is this KITT.AI?
According to Lei Feng network to understand that this is called KITT.AI start-up companies from the United States Seattle, focus on voice wake-up and natural voice interactive technology. The developed customizable hot word detector and the chat engine ChatFlow provide online multi-turn conversations for any voice or text-based device / bot.
It was originally established as an internal incubation project for the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2, founded by Paul Allen). Since then, in January this year and Seattle venture capital firm Founders & rsquo; Co-op and Amazon Alexa project seed round investment. And recently, it received a large sum of money from the venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group. At present, KITT.AI's main product research and development base is located in downtown Seattle.
KITT.AI co-founder Yao Xuxhen graduated from Nanjing University, in the United States Johns Hopkins University received a doctorate, last year joined by the computer scientist Oren Etzioni led the AI2 incubator. It is reported that during 2012 to 2016, Yao Xuxhen's paper published the top 10 in the six major conferences (ACL, EACL, NAACL, EMNLP, NIPS, ICML) of natural language understanding and machine learning.
The company's other co-founder Chen fruit is a senior voice recognition experts. Prior to founding KITT.AI, he developed a prototype called "OK Google" for the Andrews system.
In addition, Kenji Sagae, a former professor of natural language processing technology at the University of Southern California and a natural language analysis and dialogue system expert, also joined KITT.AI as a partner.
What did they do?
Kitt.AI is the first to do a "hot word detection" product Snowboy artificial intelligence software tool kit started, and has been widely recognized.
According to Lei Feng network (public: Lei Feng network) to understand, "hot words" is the "wake up" and rdquo ;, through this software, developers can add some hardware devices, "voice hot word detection & rdquo; function. For example, on the Iphone with "Hey Siri" to wake Siri, and then you can and Siri for further interaction. The word "Hello Siri" is generally called a hot word or a wake-up word. Correspondingly, Google has "Ok-ay Google", Amazon has & ldquo; Alexa & rdquo ;. Hot word detection systems generally do not require network connectivity. Only when the corresponding word is said after the computer will be awakened to the next may need to complete the server-side operations (voice recognition, semantic understanding, information search, etc.), so the hot word detection system to ensure that the user's privacy The At the same time, the hot word detection system needs to be accurate enough. Snowboy is a user-defined hot word detection system, the user can define in addition to & ldquo; Hey Siri & rdquo; & quot; Okay Google & rdquo; & quot; Alexa & quot;
The next product, called NLU, is an acronym for Natural Language Understanding. As the name implies, this product is to let the computer understand what the user said is what it means. For example, in the example, the computer needs to understand that the user's intention is to use the alarm (because the user needs to be awakened). The computer needs to further understand that the time of the alarm clock is "6am tomorrow" and not the other time. In general it is for the computer to understand a single sentence.
After that, they have made a difference in chatting robots.
The Kitt.AI, a start-up of the three PhDs who study artificial intelligence, helps developers solve the problem of how to engage in contextual conversations in the chat interface.
They developed the chat engine ChatFlow, ChatFlow is a tool for developers to develop a dialogue system, integrated the development of chat robots of the various modules, to achieve man-machine dialogue. ChatFlow has a very simple graphical interface, the developer's programming skills even if not particularly deep, you can also use ChatFlow to develop and computer dialogue system. At the same time, ChatFlow can help developers to deploy their chat robots to Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Amazon Alex and other platforms.
Why does Baidu buy KITT.AI?
Baidu degree division general manager King Kun at the Baidu Developers Conference site, said the three elements of the core of all things to wake up, understand and meet. It is a key issue to solve data and technology in the era of artificial intelligence. In this era, only Baidu in the Chinese market is the only one to hear, understand, meet the strength, to create an open energy of the ecological system. & Rdquo;
Lei Feng network that, and in this ecosystem, KITT.AI based on its strong voice capabilities and natural language processing capabilities may Baidu platform play a very big role.
At the scene, KITT.AI co-founder, CTO Mr. Chen Guoguo demonstrated how to use KITT.AI voice wake-up technology to quickly create a voice wake-up device.
According to Mr. Chen Guoguo demonstration, into the Snowboy's arouse the thesaurus and the new call the word "Hello King Kun" and then only need to say three times, you can complete the training of the word. In the test session, the device will only be to evoke the word "Hello King Kun & rdquo; to respond.
Snowboy's product concept is clear: let the user through the dialogue with the mobile device, "wake up" or "order" and they do some things. In this process, the device will be through the owner's "voice control" turned into an intelligent robot.
From a technical point of view, Snowboy uses advanced depth neural network technology to learn and identify different sound templates; at the same time, it also has complex audio processing technology, can also work without a network connection.
Has refused to FITbook KITT.AI why to invest in Baidu embrace
Yao Xuchen and Chen Guoguo said that artificial intelligence is now more and more fire, especially this year NLU (understanding), Dialogue (dialogue) and Usability (usability) in the field of more and more participants, more and more competition. Apple's Siri is more limited to the NLU this, Amazon's Echo bias NLU and Dialogue. There are a lot of companies that can do two blocks, but KITT.AI has NLU and Dialogue, and there are Usability, which is very attractive to developers.
They said that compared to other companies, KITT.AI began earlier, wit.ai was acquired by Facebook at the beginning of last year. There is another company, api.ai, recently also recently acquired by Google. And KITT.AI do not want to be acquired soon, we have a bigger goal. We hope that the future can become a successful SaaS (Software as a Service, software as a service, such as iCloud, Office 365) company, do their own brand.
And today, Baidu out of the olive branch may be as they intended.
On the one hand, Lu Qi joined Baidu, they began a drastic reform. For AI, Baidu Group President and COO Lu Qi announced Baidu will All-In.
At the meeting, Lu Qi said, AI platform will be a huge driving force of society, is China's historic opportunity, is Baidu's opportunity.
Baidu has accumulated a large number of talent, technology and data resources, so that Baidu become the most capable, most have the opportunity to promote the development of a company AI.
Technology, Baidu has the world's largest neural network; talent, Baidu currently has more than 2,000 AI R & D personnel, a first-class AI R & D center; data, Baidu has billions of positioning data and trillion search data.
On the other hand, it may be related to the background of Lu Qi. KITT.AI from Allen Institute of Artificial Intelligence (AllenInstitute forArtificial Intelligence), and Allen Institute of the donor is another founder of Microsoft, Lu Qi in Microsoft has its own influence and influence, this relationship blessing, The success of this acquisition should be a lot of points.
Moreover, through informed sources, the purchase price is also above the billion.
And heroes will be sympathetic, as an international giants company, Baidu will turn the head of the deep plowing AI field, which is the beginning of the creation of KITT.AI is consistent with the ambition. The cooperation, may be said to be KITT.AI find a good husband, Baidu also found a good wife.
In addition, after that, Baidu also in this year on April 13 in the wholly-owned acquisition of Silicon Valley AI company xPerception. XPerception is a Silicon Valley technology company focused on machine vision hardware and software solutions for robotics, AR / VR, intelligent guide and other industries to provide customers with three-dimensional inertia camera as the core of the machine vision hardware and software products, that is, artificial intelligence products installed & Ldquo; eyes & rdquo ;.
From the two acquiescence point of view, for the AI this way, Baidu is set to go.