Alibaba Investing $15 Billion for Global Research

Alibaba launches research arm for AI, quantum computing, and other emerging tech

Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, announced today during its cloud computing conference, that the company will pour $15 billion into research and development over the next three years, covering diverse areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, fintech, quantum computing and human & computer interaction.

Alibaba's objective is to create new and disruptive technologies to "benefit small businesses and narrow the technology gap to make our world a more inclusive place", chief technology officer Jeff Zhang said in prepared statements.

The program is called as the Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook-DAMO Academy in short. Over 100 scientists worldwide who specialize in different aspects of AI, quantum computing, and the IoT will also be hired. "They will also be the foundation for the next generation of technologies", he said.

Overseeing the direction of the labs will be an advisory board made up of academics and researchers from Princeton, Harvard, Columbia University, Berkeley, University of Washington and Peking University, Zhejiang University and Beijing Institute of Technology. On top of this, it is also now recruiting 100 more researchers from across the world.


Within those areas, the company said the works will focus on real-world applications as machine learning, network security, visual computing, Natural Language Processing, among others.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.is putting a lot of cash behind its goal of serving 2 billion customers and creating 100 million job opportunities over the next two decades.

Alibaba now has an overseas data science research lab in California, however, it has continously opened several data centers in Europe, America, Middle East, Australia, India, Indonesia and Japan previous year as a way to expand its cloud business.

The Chinese giant and its affiliates have undergone a rapid expansion in the past year, bringing it into direct competition with U.S. e-retailer Amazon.com Inc., as well as global payments, cloud and logistics firms.

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