Google’s parent company Alphabet is looking to fill a number of positions in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in Beijing, China, as the company posted new job listings on its career portal, seeking to add new employees to its local division of Google. The listings reveal more than 20 vacancies for positions in software engineering, research, product management, and marketing, though it remains unclear whether the postings are a sign that the firm is working on an entirely new product or service in the Far Eastern country.
The tech giant latest move marks another step in its efforts to further its AI ambitions in China. This May, Google’s AI unit DeepMind hosted a Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen, China, in partnership with the Chinese government and the China Go Association as a part of an effort to further improve its AlphaGo AI technology and explore how it can help improve the skills of human players of the ancient board game. During the summit, top Go players were pitted against AlphaGo in various game formats including Pair Go, Team Go, and Ke Jie vs AlphaGo in a move to discover ways to help transform the game using AI, according to DeepMind’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Demis Hassabis. The goal was to help AlphaGo adapt its strategy based on a wide variety of styles which Chinese players utilize during games. AlphaGo ended up beating the Chinese Go master Ke Jie during the first match of the three-match series, marking a significant milestone in AlphaGo’s skills at what's believed to be one of the world’s most complex board games.
Despite Alphabet’s efforts to develop AI solutions in China under Google's umbrella, Google’s Search and Gmail services are still blocked in the Far Eastern country and have been for a couple of years now for refusing to comply with the Chinese government’s censorship policies when it comes to Internet content. It remains to be seen how Aphabet’s AI solutions will be received in China from both the government and end user's perspective, especially if the firm continues to face strict regulatory scrutiny in the country, which seems like a probable scenario.