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Alibaba invests US$15B in overseas tech, AI research

11 October 2017

A new global research and development program has been announced by Alibaba, with a huge investment being made from the company over the next three years.

The program has tentatively been titled 'Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook (DAMO)'.

The Chinese giant will set up seven research labs across Hangzhou & Beijing in China, San Mateo & Bellevue in the U.S., Moscow, Tel Aviv, and Singapore.

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With its latest move, the tech giant is looking to invest more than US$15 billion (S$20 billion) in research and development over the next three years. The company is hiring 100 researchers to work on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Quantum computing and Fintech. On top of this, it is also now recruiting 100 more researchers from across the world. In each area, researchers will focus on real-world applications such as machine learning, network security and natural language processing. Alibaba's officials have declared that the advisory board members of the research program will comprise educators and researchers from some of the top universities.

Alibaba's Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Zhang, was quoted stating that the innovation of next-generation technologies will contribute significantly toward Alibaba's growth worldwide. In order to carry out research, the company would also liaison with educational institutes such as MIT, University of California, and Berkeley.

The scope of research to be conducted in these facilities is broad, focusing on both "foundational and disruptive technology", says Alibaba. "We aim to discover breakthrough technologies that will enable greater efficiency, network security and ecosystem synergy for end users and businesses everywhere", said Zhang, reports theFinancial Times.

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Alibaba has already turning itself into a conglomerate of different business units.

Alibaba now has 25,000 engineers on staff, it says, and says the new research infrastructure will help them meet a goal of two billion customers within two decades.

"Over the past 18 years, we have developed a robust technology infrastructure that supports the rapid growth of our business".

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Alibaba invests US$15B in overseas tech, AI research