Baidu is acquiring xPerception, a U.S. startup specialized in computer vision, according to Reuters. Details are sparse, but we know the startup has its own module for object recognition and depth perception that can be deployed on robots and drones.
The Chinese tech giant has been active in machine intelligence M&A this year. Back in February it acquired Raven Tech, a Chinese startup developing its own voice assistant. This new acquisition is notable because it involves a U.S. startup. It also could hold the key to Baidu’s future autonomous driving and augmented reality efforts.
xPerception was founded by Dr. Bao Yingze and Dr. Chen Mingyu, two early Magic Leap engineers. The team is expected to continue its work under the wings of Baidu.
In March, Andrew Ng, Baidu’s chief scientist, left the company to the detriment of its internal machine intelligence efforts. Baidu faces additional barriers that its contemporaries like Google don’t have to face for research and development.
While the AI talent race plays out on a global scale for all companies, its epicenter rests in the United States. xPerception is another U.S. anchor for the company that has been pouring resources into its Silicon Valley AI Lab.
We reached out to the team over at xPerception and will let you know if we hear any additional context.