Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU and HKEX: 9888), a leading AI company with a strong Internet foundation, virtually hosted its annual flagship technology conference Baidu World 2022 today. Centered on the theme of “Deepening AI innovation for social growth”, the conference featured the debut of several of Baidu’s latest AI technology achievements and the release of new world-leading products. Among them was the world’s first large-scale AI model for aerospace research, created in conjunction with China Aerospace, representing significant progress in the development of pre-training large-scale models. Baidu also released the Kaiwu 2.0 platform based on Baidu AI Cloud, designed to bring AI applications to propel industrial transformation, as well as Apollo RT6, Baidu’s sixth generation fully autonomous vehicle with a detachable steering wheel.
“Today, we are in the midst of a major cycle of technological development, with new technologies emerging in almost every industry, from new energy to space exploration, biomedicine, smart manufacturing, and more,” Robin Li, Co-founder, and CEO of Baidu said at the conference. “China’s technological development is rising to a new position at the forefront of the world. But progress still requires relentless efforts and new paths for a better future driven by technology. Baidu aims to serve as a cornerstone of these efforts, contributing to basic research, basic technology, and underlying innovation.”
World’s First Large-scale AI Model Dedicated to Aerospace Research
Among the highlights of Baidu World 2022 was a stunning virtual rendition of “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains”, one of the ten most famous works of classical Chinese painting. The painting was divided up into two pieces which have been stored at different museums. Thanks to Baidu’s AI technology, the masterpiece has been put back together to be viewed as a complete work of art for the first time in history.
Baidu’s digital human ambassador, Xijiajia also made an appearance to highlight the artistic potential of Baidu’s technology, painting a stunningly detailed image of a cat in real-time after receiving a simple command.
Behind this ability to produce AI-generated content (AIGC) is Baidu’s ERNIE large-scale AI models for knowledge enhancement, developed based on Baidu’s deep learning platform PaddlePaddle. So far, Baidu has released more than 20 large-scale models specifically designed for application in industries such as energy, finance, and biocomputing.
Baidu’s joint announcement with China Aerospace of the world’s first large-scale model in the field of aerospace was another highlight of Baidu World 2022. The model is able to analyze and automatically archive data in the field of aerospace, helping diagnose equipment failures and provide operation and maintenance recommendations, improving the efficiency of scientific research, and facilitating technological breakthroughs in deep space intelligent sensing, planning, and control.
Kaiwu 2.0 Empowers Industrial Transformation with AI
Driven by its mission to empower the real economy through AI and support the intelligent transformation of traditional industries, Baidu has continuously sought to lower the threshold of AI applications over the past 20 years.
Baidu World 2022 featured numerous examples of how AI Cloud solutions have helped unlock new possibilities in traditional sectors including energy, manufacturing, public services, and agriculture. Today, Baidu’s AI solutions for thermal power plants are helping to reduce coal consumption, opening a path towards reducing carbon emissions by 6 million tons a year in China. In Shandong province’s Shouguang county, one of the biggest vegetable supplying regions in China, Baidu AI Cloud has helped to achieve a 10% increase in vegetable cultivation yield.
Kaiwu 2.0, an upgraded version of Baidu’s industrial internet platform based on Baidu AI Cloud, was officially released at Baidu World 2022, representing a further step forward in bringing AI applications to more industries. Kaiwu 2.0 consolidates more than 200 industrial solutions and 38,000 industrial models across nine major fields, such as quality control, safety production, energy saving and emission reduction, production, and manufacturing. Baidu AI Cloud also released an update tailored to local-level implementation, helping bring the power of intelligent transformation to farming communities and rural villages.
Next-Gen Autonomous Vehicle Apollo RT6, Ready to Provide Driverless Robotaxi Service at a Price Half of Current Taxi Fares
The event also unveiled Baidu’s next-generation fully autonomous vehicle (AV) Apollo RT6, an all-electric, production-ready model with a detachable steering wheel. Apollo RT6 will be put into operation in China in 2023 on Apollo Go, Baidu’s autonomous ride-hailing service. With a dramatically reduced unit cost of RMB 250,000 (~$37,000), the deployment of Apollo RT6 represents a key step towards a world where taking a robotaxi will be half the cost of taking a taxi today.
Designed for complex urban environments, the vehicle is 100% automotive-grade and has full redundancy throughout both hardware and autonomous driving software to ensure driving safety.
Apollo Go has provided more than 1 million orders and becoming the world’s largest robotaxi service provider. With tens of thousands of Apollo RT6 models to be deployed at scale, Baidu is ready to tap into a key high potential market with increasing demand, bringing the world closer to a future of driverless shared mobility.
In addition to its business-oriented solutions, Baidu also showcased several new AI products for consumers, aiming to further expand the beneficial role of AI in everyday life.
The event featured a live conversation with the Baidu-developed DuXiaoxiao, China’s first interactive virtual idol, showcasing her unique emotional interaction system and intelligent service functions. Smartphone users can now interact with DuXiaoxiao via the Baidu App, the first step towards a future when personalized digital human service becomes commonplace.
Baidu World 2022 also saw the unveiling of three new products for Xiaodu, Baidu’s smart home ecosystem: Xiaodu TIANTIAN Smart Fitness Mirror M30, Xiaodu Voice Alarm Clock, and Xiaodu Large-screen Learning Tablet P20. Designed respectively to help users improve personal fitness, sleep quality, and children’s eye health, the new products expand upon Xiaodu’s already popular household services, currently bringing the convenience of AI to millions of homes across China.