The Chinese leading online search engine, Baidu, announced on Monday that the company will be hiring former Microsoft executive, Dr. Qi Lu, to become the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer and in turn he will be in charge of the company’s sales, marketing, products, and technology operations.
Robin Li, Baidu’s Chairman and Group’s CEO, explained that Dr. Lu has the experience and leadership skills especially in the area of artificial intelligence.
“I am confident that Dr. Lu will make major contributions to the overall strength of our management and technology,” Li explained.
“To achieve our goals, especially in artificial intelligence, which is a key strategic focus for the next decade, we will need to continue attracting the best global talent. With Dr. Lu on board, we are confident that our strategy will be executed smoothly and Baidu will become a world-class technology company and global leader in AI,” Li added.
Dr. Lu received his PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and began working for Yahoo in 1998. Then, in 2009 he joined Microsoft and became the company’s President of its Online Services Group.
Baidu joins the long list of Silicon Valley companies who are investing in artificial intelligence. Last week, Dr. Lu’s former company, Microsoft, announced the acquisition of Maluuba, an artificial intelligence start up. Microsoft explained in a statement that their new acquired company specializes in artificial intelligence that has the ability to learn and communicate like humans.
At the end of the day artificial intelligence is big business. Last year, CB Insights, a research firm found that more $1 billion was spent on funding artificial intelligence companies in 2015. Then a recent report by the IDC found that nearly 50% of all consumers will come into contact with some sort of Artificially enabled program by the start of 2019.