CHINA TOPIX

Updated 2:00 PM EDT, Wed, May 20, 2020

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Baidu Open Sources its Deep Learning AI Platform

Baidu will release the software to GitHub on Sept. 30.

(Photo : Twitter) Baidu will release its AI software to GitHub on Sept. 30.

Baidu Inc. has decided to open source its deep learning platform PaddlePaddle, offering the software to the global community of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers.

The PaddlePaddle platform has been used in-house by Baidu to develop products and technologies for search ranking, large-scale image classification, optical character recognition, machine translation, and advertising. Baidu spokeswoman Calisa Cole said a machine translation program written with PaddlePaddle requires significantly less code than other popular deep learning platforms

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Baidu's big claim for PaddlePaddle is that it is easier to use than rival programs, making it simple for software developers without much experience, Silicon Angle reported. PaddlePaddle offers a toolkit for deep learning, but the comparable software is designed to work in many different situations that make it less approachable to newcomers. 

“It will allow engineers to be able to quickly and easily apply deep learning techniques to their products. We want to get more people using artificial intelligence. It’s important for our future,” said Wei Xu, a researcher at Baidu and head of PaddlePaddle development.

Baidu has been developing PaddlePaddle for more than three years and is used by more than 30 of its offline and online products and services, according to The Verge. It even helps work out how long food would take to reach customers in Baidu's takeout business. Baidu says its deep learning tools can guarantee customers a 50 percent refund if deliveries are not made at the correct time. 

The company would release the software with documentation and specs to GitHub on Sept. 30, under an Apache open source license. However, a pre-release Alpha version is already available for developers.

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