Jack Ma – CEO and Founder of Alibaba
Alibaba is a popular Chinese e-commerce giant that’s been in operation for almost 20 years now. Although their main focus is e-commerce, earlier this month at the company’s Computing Conference 2017, Alibaba Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Zhang announced the company would be investing more than $15 billion into global research over the next three years in an attempt to develop new technologies and increase collaboration at the same time. That figure is more than double the total amount of expenditure the company spent on R&D over the past three years.
The new program that’s been developed is called the Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook (DAMO). It will employ 100 researchers to oversee seven research labs in Moscow, Beijing, San Mateo, Tel Aviv, Hangzhou, Singapore, and Bellevue in the U.S. In those labs research will be conducted in various areas including financial technologies, data intelligence, human-machine interaction, the Internet of Things, and quantum computing. One of the collaborators on board to help make the program a success is the University of California, Berkley and its RISE Lab.
Alibaba confirmed that the program will have its very own advisory board made up of researchers and educators from various top establishments, including MIT to guide it along. Leading the academy will be Jeff Zhang who commented that the research program will be “at the forefront of developing next-generation technology that will spur the growth of Alibaba and our partners.” He then added, “We are now looking for talented and driven researchers to join us in the quest for new disruptive technologies that would advance our every-day lives, benefit small businesses and narrow the technology gap to make our world a more inclusive place.”
The company is confident the new program will help it achieve its long term goals of serving 2 billion customers and creating 100 million jobs over a period of 20 years. China as a whole is moving swiftly into the world of research and development of new, innovative, technologies. Even Goldman Sachs reported last month that the world’s second largest economy has arrived through the help of artificial intelligence. The U.S. may be leaders of the field at the moment, but China is quickly catching up with much of that down to the likes of businesses such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent. It’s because of these kinds of investments into the research and development of new technologies that could see China overtake the U.S. in this field and take the number one position.
Original source CNBC