Alibaba to in­vest $15 bn in global R&D ini­tia­tive

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Alibaba

Group Hold­ing Ltd on 11 Oc­to­ber an­nounced a new global re­search ini­tia­tive to tackle emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy ar­eas such as ma­chine learn­ing, net­work se­cu­rity and vis­ual com­put­ing.

The Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy be­he­moth said it will in­vest $15 bil­lion over the next few years in re­search and de­vel­op­ment as part of the new pro­gramme.

Alibaba Group’s chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer Jeff Zhang, will lead the academy.

The new pro­gramme, called Alibaba DAMO Academy, will cover set­ting up of seven new re­search labs in China, the US, Rus­sia, Is­rael and Sin­ga­pore. The labs will fo­cus on re­search in the ar­eas of data in­tel­li­gence, in­ter­net of things (IOT), fin­tech, quan­tum com­put­ing and hu­man-ma­chine in­ter­ac­tion. More specif­i­cally, it will con­cen­trate on top­ics such as ma­chine learn­ing, net­work se­cu­rity, vis­ual com­put­ing and Nat­u­ral Lan­guage Pro­cess­ing, Alibaba said in a state­ment.

“The Alibaba DAMO Academy will be at the fore­front of de­vel­op­ing next-gen­er­a­tion tech­nol­ogy that will spur the growth of Alibaba and our part­ners. We aim to dis­cover break­through tech­nolo­gies that will en­able greater ef­fi­ciency, net­work se­cu­rity and ecosys­tem syn­ergy for end-users and busi­nesses ev­ery­where,” said Zhang.

Alibaba said the new ini­tia­tive will help it meet its goal of serv­ing 2 bil­lion cus­tomers and cre­ate 100 mil­lion job op­por­tu­ni­ties in 20 years. The Chi­nese tech giant now has around 25,000 en­gi­neers and sci­en­tists on its staff. The new pro­gramme en­vis­ages col­lab­o­ra­tions with ed­u­ca­tors and re­searchers glob­ally. An Alibaba state­ment said, it will work with the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley through its RISE Lab on ar­eas such as se­cured real-time com­put­ing.

REUTERS

Emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy: Alibaba Group founder and ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Jack Ma.

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