Baidu plans new AI cloud computing center in north China

China"s artificial intelligence (AI) giant Baidu has decided to set up an AI cloud computing center in the northern Chinese city Baoding, Hebei Province, in its latest efforts to build more smart cities.

The AI cloud computing center is super-large in scale and will serve users in the Xiongan New Area and other places in north China by leveraging its mega pool of data and high-performance computing power, according to a strategic cooperation MOU inked Thursday by Baidu and the municipal government of Baoding.

The Baoding center will be Baidu"s second mega cloud-computing center after the landmark one in Shanxi Province"s Yangquan City. The two centers are physical manifestations of the firm"s AI-based artificial neural network Baidu Brain.

The two parties also work on using AI technologies to improve traffic monitoring and management to turn the city into a pilot for smart transport development.

The partnership is part of Baidu"s "ACE" program launched last November, aiming to promote autonomous driving, connected roads and efficient cities.

More scenarios and opportunities will be explored to apply AI in urban development, said Baidu founder and CEO Robin Li, who reset the company"s vision last month, in a bid to turn the company into a world-class high-tech firm that not only understands its users but also provides products enabling personal growth.