March 22, 2017 / 7:37 AM / 6 months ago

Baidu's chief scientist, who led firm's AI push, to resign

Baidu's company logo is seen at its headquarters in Beijing December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) chief scientist Andrew Ng said on Wednesday he will resign from the Chinese search engine company after three years of leading its drive into artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) projects.

Ng, who announced his departure in a blog post on online publishing platform Medium, did not say where he would be heading to next, but said he would continue to be involved in entrepreneurship and research in the artificial intelligence space.

“As the principal architect of Baidu’s AI strategy, I am proud to have led the incredible rise of AI within the company,” he said in the post. “I will continue my work to shepherd in this important societal change.”

His resignation comes as Baidu has been ramping up its focus on cutting edge technology to revitalise the company’s shrinking profits, and after the company hired former top Microsoft (MSFT.O) executive, Qi Lu, to oversee the shift to AI. [nL4N1F71P1]

Baidu last month reported a second straight drop in quarterly revenue, hurt by a government crackdown on healthcare advertising. [nL4N1G85SW]

The company in 2014 hired Ng, who was a former Stanford University computer science professor and founder of Google’s elite Deep Learning team. He also co-founded online learning startup Coursera.

In January, Baidu opened an AR lab in Beijing that was fronted by Ng. [nL4N1F63KO]

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Randy Fabi

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