verge: The Chinese tech giant has open sourced one of its key machine learning tools, PaddlePaddle, offering the software up to the global community of AI researchers. By James Vincent
'This move has become common among tech firms as they pour more and more resources into their AI work. Open sourcing your tools is a good way to attract talent, but it also allows companies to shape the development of a field that's becoming increasingly central to consumer tech, underpinning everything from voice interfaces to auto-sorting photo galleries.
'Baidu's big claim for PaddlePaddle is that it's easier to use than rival programs. Like Amazon's DSSTNE and Microsoft's CNTK, PaddlePaddle offers a toolkit for deep learning, but Baidu says comparable software is designed to work in too many different situations, making it less approachable to newcomers. Xu Wei, the leader of Baidu's PaddlePaddle development, tells The Verge that a machine translation program written with Baidu's software needs only a quarter of the amount of code demanded by other deep learning tools.'