China's biggest search engine, Baidu, announced it will use Intel's Xeon Phi processor when the processor's release plan was disclosed on August 17 at Intel's annual developer forum in San Francisco.
"When it comes to AI (artificial intelligence), Intel's Xeon Phi is a great fit," said Jing Wang, a senior vice president of Baidu, who joined Diane Bryant, executive vice president in charge of Intel's data center group, at the forum.
Intel said Xeon Phi will help accelerate deep learning, a computerized technique increasingly used for tasks such as interpreting speech, identifying objects in photos and piloting autonomous vehicles. Baidu, having researched the application of artificial intelligence for years, is considering using the new chip to support its voice recognition system, called Deep Speech.
Deep Speech is based on the collection of 7,000 hours of voice clips created by 9,600 people. Baidu's researchers mix the clips with 15 kinds of noise, and let the system recognize the voice. Under the help of deep learning, the system is able to recognize human voices with noisy backgrounds and different dialects.
Intel's Xeon processors are popularly used in data centers for supporting almost all deep-learning tasks carried out there. But some users also install auxiliary processors. Intel says the Xeon Phi, which is coming out next year, can run most analytic software without using external processors that can slow analytical tasks, creating a key advantage for it.
(By Lynus Tan, Louis Berney)