The Baidu Smart Mini Program now has more than 150,000 developers and 250 million daily active users
Baidu, Inc. announced it will deepen AI integration into its mobile ecosystem for a more dynamic, connected and seamless user experience at the Baidu Create 2019 AI Developer Conference.
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After years of development, Baidu’s AI technology has been successfully applied across many verticals. Baidu’s core product, Baidu App, is empowered by cutting-edge AI technology that helps it to understand user needs by connecting people and information efficiently and driving app growth. The number of Baidu App daily active users has reached 188 million, making it one of the largest digital media and service platforms in China. At the same time, the entire Baidu mobile ecosystem is growing, and the number of monthly active devices running Baidu mobile apps has reached 1.1 billion.
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Shen began his keynote with a presentation of Baidu’s PaddlePaddle mobile deployment library, designed for mobile as a subset of the PaddlePaddle deep learning platform. It optimizes specific scenarios on the mobile terminal and reduces model size to 300KB, achieving ultra-high performance with low power consumption. It currently supports eight kinds of hardware and software platforms, achieving full-platform coverage on mobile terminals. Using the PaddlePaddle mobile deployment library, Baidu App has inspired two technologies: “Image Super Resolution” and “Dynamic Multi-Target Recognition”.
“Image Super Resolution” is a computer vision technology that uses deep learning to improve image and video resolution. This technology increases real-time image and video resolution by 2-4 times and saves 50% to 75% of the bandwidth cost for developers. This means that users can save vast amounts of traffic without compromising image quality when viewing picture and video on Baidu App. In his speech, Shen announced that the “Super Resolution” technology won first place at the NTIRE (New Trends in Image Restoration and Enhancement Workshop), the most influential competition in the field of computer vision for low-level vision.
“Dynamic Multi-Target Recognition” is another technology based on the PaddlePaddle mobile deployment library, which enables the Baidu App to track and recognize multiple objects that appear on the screen in real time through a smartphone’s camera. Shen gave a demonstration of how the real-time identification works. When shopping for cosmetic products, the Baidu App tracked their name, similar products, price comparisons and links to e-commerce platforms. Baidu optimized the cloud-based multi-layer visual model from more than 200 layers to slightly over 10 layers for “Dynamic Multi-Target Recognition”. It recognizes more than 10 million items, identifies them within 100 milliseconds and tracks their location within 8 milliseconds, making the image recognition on Baidu App industry-leading.
Baidu App’s powerful natural language processing technology and knowledge graph provide users with the most effective answers from across the Internet using “Voice Search”. Lun Deng, Baidu App Ambassador, gave a live demonstration on stage, using the “Voice Search” on Baidu App to ask: “Who is taller, Kobe or Sakuragi (a character from popular Japanese TV series Slam Dunk)?” and “Curry and James, who scores more on average?” The answers were highly accurate and precision search were results returned.
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1st anniversary of Baidu Smart Mini Program: “New Connection” improves efficiency and upgrades modes
At last year’s Baidu Create, Baidu officially released its Smart Mini Program. After just one year, the Baidu Smart Mini Program platform now has more than 150,000 developers and its daily active users has reached 250 million. The development of the Smart Mini Program ecosystem has helped the Baidu App to demonstrate its “New Connection” capabilities and its ability to connect people and information. Shen said that Baidu App’s “New Connection” should be understood from two dimensions. First, for users, the “New Connection” means that people can achieve a seamless experience from shopping online to buying goods and services. While for developers, the “New Connection” means that efficiency and mode upgrades can be achieved through the Smart Mini Program Platform.
Examples of developers using the Smart Mini Program ecosystem to improve efficiency were showcased at the event. For example, after “Eggshell Apartment“ was launched on the Baidu Smart Mini Program platform, its conversion rate increased by 32% and the cost of lead acquisition decreased by 98%; Aihuishou, an online platform for electronics recycling, increased its ROI by 85% and conversion rate by 112%. Shen said that, in addition to helping developers improve their efficiency, the “New Connection” of Baidu Smart Mini Program can help developers digitize traditional businesses and upgrade their business models by combining online and offline activities, thus building new business models on Baidu App.
To help brands better realize their commercial operations’ success on Baidu App, Shen introduced the direct e-commerce solution jointly created with Youzan. This project can help all kinds of direct e-commerce retailers set up online shops on Baidu, obtain customers accurately, conduct online transactions and achieve continuous user operation. The Baidu Smart Mini Program has changed the previous fragmented interactive experience that requires users to jump to other apps or H5 pages. After using the Baidu App to search or browse the desired products, users can complete a closed transaction loop directly within the ecosystem of the Smart Mini Programs. Currently, Youzan has helped over 100 brands in various industries to join Baidu’s Smart Mini Program ecosystem.
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There have been many such cases of model upgrading, including the Shanghai Auto Show smart mini program, which has facilitated seamless scenario transition from search, to feed to electronic pass. The smart mini program served more than 3 million people within a month, and its ticket sales ranked first among all third-party ticketing channels. Similarly, technology information portal Zol.com.cn has realized an upgrade from a content platform to a trading platform via the smart mini program and it is expected to help 50,000 offline retail stores join the Baidu Smart Mini Program platform in next three years.
From the launch of the twin engines of “search + feed” in 2017 to the launch of Smart Mini Program to achieve “New Connection” in 2018, Baidu App has been continuously evolving to help developers better serve users by meeting their needs. At the end of his speech, Shen extended an invitation to developers, saying that “the new connection is an opportunity for the mobile ecosystem. We sincerely welcome developers to work with Baidu to provide users with a brand-new mobile experience that is ubiquitous and authoritative.”