Baidu Announces Smart Words Prediction Feature on Facemoji Keyboard App

New Feature Increases Predictive Text Accuracy to 91.6%

Baidu, Inc. announced a new Smart Words Prediction feature on its Facemoji Keyboard app, which has been found to increase prediction accuracy for frequently used phrases from 53.2% to 91.6% in a test scenario.

“We now have unparalleled word and emoji prediction, and the most accurate voice-to-text in the industry.”

The Smart Words Prediction feature uses a cloud-based 5-gram language model that references up to four words that a user inputs to intelligently recommend words and phrases based on context. Given that users are more likely to input phrases as opposed to single words, Facemoji Keyboard utilizes machine learning methods for phrase mining to intelligently suggest the next part of a common phrase. For example, when a user types in “Nice to,” the Smart Words Prediction feature will suggest “see you” to complete the sentence. By leveraging cloud technology, Facemoji Keyboard can also suggest trending topics and phrases in real time based on what a user has typed.

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In addition to Smart Words Prediction, Facemoji Keyboard also offers the following cutting-edge features to its users leveraging Baidu’s technology:

  • Smart Voice-to-text Transcription: This feature utilizes an advanced neural network algorithm for accurate, true-to-life punctuation when users send voice-to-text messages on Facemoji Keyboard. It currently supports English, Japanese, Hindi and Hinglish, a mix of Hindi and English. Baidu’s advanced neural network algorithm is capable of simulating the human brain and its learning patterns. Using Baidu’s streaming multi-layer truncated attention model (SMLTA) for speech recognition, Facemoji Keyboard is not only able to learn the correct samples, but can also learn error-prone samples in similar scenarios, further enhancing the discriminatory ability of the model.
  • Smart Emoji Prediction: This feature employs Baidu’s Retrieval Strategy algorithm, which was recently published on Cornell University’s arXiv.org research archive, as well as the language representation model BERT and Natural Language Understanding (NLU), to calculate the semantic meaning of whole sentences instead of single words. With this information, Facemoji Keyboard then determines which combination of emoji are the best choice for a given sentence.

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“Facemoji’s technology makes hands-free texting super easy — with absolutely no chance of embarrassing typos or faux pas,” said Mr. Jiang Feng, director of Baidu’s Global Business Unit. “We now have unparalleled word and emoji prediction, and the most accurate voice-to-text in the industry.”

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Baidu’s Facemoji Keyboard Releases Kaomoji Report

Report Reveals Most Popular Kaomoji of 2019 and Insights from 17 Countries

As 2019 comes to a close, Baidu, Inc. released a report revealing the most popular kaomoji used globally on its Facemoji Keyboard and Simeji apps throughout the year, as well as other findings and trends.

“As 2019 winds down, we want to take a moment to recognize the kaomoji trends of the year and celebrate their significance.”

Kaomoji is a popular Japanese emoticon style first popularized in 1986 that consists of Japanese characters and punctuation, and is used to express emotion in digital communication. The term kaomoji is derived from the combination of two words: “kao” meaning “face”, and “moji” meaning “character.”

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Baidu’s 2019 Kaomoji Report found the following:

  • The shrug is the most popular kaomoji globally, ranking No. 1 in 11 countries.
  • Over 100,000 kaomoji are sent every single day in the US.
  • India was the only country whose most popular kaomoji was apologetic, while France was the only country with two negative kaomoji in their top three.
  • Japan and Russia like to keep their kaomoji simple.
  • India and the UK like having words in their kaomoji, while Japan continues to take a minimalist approach, using the kanji for “smile” to simply mean “lol.”

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On social media:

  • Instagram was the only social media site to feature a crying kaomoji in its top three.
  • The kissing kaomoji is popular on Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp, while Twitter prefers hugs.
  • Two of the top three kaomoji used on WhatsApp depict love.

“Kaomoji are an important part of digital culture in Asia, and we are thrilled to see them growing in popularity around the globe,” said Mr. Jiang Feng, director of Baidu’s Global Business Unit. “As 2019 winds down, we want to take a moment to recognize the kaomoji trends of the year and celebrate their significance.”

The report references fully anonymized data from 17 countries, including the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. The report data includes the most popular kaomoji used on Facemoji Keyboard and Simeji in 2019 by country and by app, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp.

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Baidu Leads the Way in Innovation with 5,712 Artificial Intelligence Patent Applications

Baidu, Inc. has filed the most AI-related patent applications in China, a recognition of the company’s long-term commitment to driving technological advancement, a recent study from the research unit of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has shown.

Baidu filed a total of 5,712 AI-related patent applications as of October 2019, ranking No.1 in China for the second consecutive year. Baidu’s patent applications were followed by Tencent (4,115), Microsoft (3,978), Inspur (3,755), and Huawei (3,656), according to the report issued by the China Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, a research unit under the MIIT.

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“Baidu retained the top spot for AI patent applications in China because of our continuous research and investment in developing AI, as well as our strategic focus on patents,” said Victor Liang, Vice President and General Counsel of Baidu.

“In the future, we will continue to increase our investments into securing AI patents, especially for high-value and high-quality patents, to provide a solid foundation for Baidu’s AI business and for our development of world-leading technology,” he said.

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The report showed that Baidu is the patent application leader in several key areas of AI. These include deep learning (1,429), natural language processing (938), and speech recognition (933). Baidu also leads in the highly competitive area of intelligent driving, with 1,237 patent applications, a figure that surpasses leading Chinese universities and research institutions, as well as many international automotive companies. With the launch of the Apollo open source autonomous driving platform and other intelligent driving innovations, Baidu has been committed to pioneering the intelligent transformation of the mobility industry.

After years of research, Baidu has developed a comprehensive AI ecosystem and is now at the forefront of the global AI industry. Moving forward, Baidu will continue to conduct research in the core areas of AI, contribute to scientific and technological innovation in China, and actively push forward the application of AI into more vertical industries. Baidu is positioned to be a global leader in a wave of innovation that will transform industries.

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Baidu and Chongqing Sign Strategic Partnership to Accelerate the Municipality’s Intelligent Transformation Using AI

Leveraging Apollo’s Latest Technological Advancements and Adaptability for Different Road Conditions, Baidu Is Bringing the Experience of Autonomous Driving to Citizens in the Chinese Mountain City of Chongqing

Baidu, Inc. announced a strategic partnership with the Chongqing municipal government on Sunday to collaborate in areas including autonomous driving, smart cities, smart government and blockchain solutions. The partnership will help the most populous municipality in China become a benchmark in the “Chengdu-Chongqing city cluster” in driving the intelligent transformation of industries.

“Chongqing is a city with an innovative spirit, and a national front-runner when it comes to promoting the comprehensive integration of AI and big data into the economy, as well as intelligent transformation and industrial upgrading,” Robin Li, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Baidu, said.

“As an AI company, Baidu has been committed to empowering all walks of life through AI. We believe that deepening cooperation between Baidu and Chongqing will accelerate technological innovation and applications in areas closely linked to people’s everyday lives and Chongqing will become an intelligent and innovative mountain city attracting more worldwide attention,” he added.

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Under the strategic collaboration, Chongqing and Baidu will work together in the following areas to accelerate the intelligent development of the municipality:

Autonomous Driving

Chongqing will support Baidu to build an autonomous driving innovation center for Western China. Leveraging the technological strengths of Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving platform and its ecosystem, the two sides will support research and development, as well as the implementation of related technologies, in order to accelerate the technological advancement and industrial upgrading of Chongqing’s automotive industry and urban traffic management.

With support from both the Yongchuan district government of Chongqing and the Chongqing Academy of Metrology and Quality Inspection, Baidu will help Chongqing build a test base for an autonomous driving project for Western China. Making use of the transportation network in the district and various trial ride scenarios, the project aims to build a demonstration environment for autonomous driving and intelligent vehicle infrastructure systems. Passenger trial rides for Baidu’s Apollo robotaxi will be carried out on open roads under the project, which will also introduce information technology products and intelligent transportation services.

In the future, the Chongqing municipal government will also launch policies to help businesses and projects open up a sizable road network and offer license plates for autonomous vehicles testing.

Baidu will also set up an Apollo autonomous driving test and operation center in Yongchuan district, aiming to accelerate the implementation and operation of robotaxis, as well as bring the autonomous driving experience to Chongqing’s citizens.

At the Smart China Expo, which kicked off in Chongqing on Monday, Baidu’s autonomous driving shuttle bus Apolong 2.0 made its debut transporting visitors. Compared with the previous version, Apolong 2.0 has improved performance and a more powerful configuration, enabling Chongqing citizens and visitors to experience cutting-edge autonomous driving services.

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Smart City

Leveraging its advantages in AI, blockchain and big data, Baidu will develop a comprehensive smart AI city demonstration project in Chongqing with offerings including autonomous valet parking, smart court systems and intelligent meteorology by using its technologies to power an urban brain, the use of maps and the energy sector.

Intelligent Government Services

Through the use of Baidu’s Smart Mini Program platform, Baijiahao and AI customer services, Chongqing will promote the opening of government data resources and improvements to the efficiency of online government services. The open source technology of Smart Mini Program will support Chongqing’s government app to become the first government service app in the country capable of running a smart mini program.

Blockchain 

In terms of blockchain applications, Baidu will work with local providers to offer healthcare blockchain solutions in Yuzhong district, Chongqing.

In addition, the municipality will encourage collaboration between local companies and Baidu in areas including smart manufacturing, supporting a more extensive use of Baidu’s deep learning platform PaddlePaddle. Baidu will also develop its AI technology ecosystem and help foster talent in Chongqing.

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Baidu and Snap Inc. Renew Sales Partnership to Reach Outbound Chinese Advertisers

Baidu, Inc. and Snap Inc. announced the renewal of their sales partnership, which first began in May 2017. The agreement authorizes Baidu to act as Snap’s representative to advertisers in Greater China, Japan and South Korea. Through this partnership, advertisers in these countries can leverage Snapchat’s robust global reach and highly engaged community to grow their business through advertising.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Baidu to reach export-oriented advertisers in these key markets.”

In its most recent update, Snap noted that its service reaches 190 million daily active users on average globally, including 80 million in North America alone. On average, each daily active user opens Snapchat over 20 times each day, and spends an average of over 30 minutes on Snapchat per day. In the US, UK, France, Canada and Australia, Snapchat reaches more 13-24 year-olds than either Facebook or Instagram.

Chinese advertisers have seen significant success on Snapchat. AjMall, a Beijing based e-commerce company focused on Middle Eastern customers, grew its revenue from zero and saw its app gain significant traction in six months by leveraging Snapchat’s ad platform. “Snapchat’s highly effective ad products and roughly 21 million addressable users in the Middle East allowed us to scale our business extremely quickly,” said Joe Zhou, CEO of AjMall.

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Shanghai based Lilith Games has seen exceptional results with Snapchat advertising. “With its young, vibrant user base, Snap’s advertising platform has been instrumental in driving growth for our game AFK Arena,” said Chris Zhang, Vice President of Lilith Games. “Snap’s ad targeting helps us acquire extremely relevant, high-quality users.”

Baidu’s regional presence, local language support, extensive knowledge of Snapchat, creative services, and account management and optimization resources make it easy for Chinese companies to advertise on Snapchat.

“We are extremely excited about our ongoing partnership with Baidu,” said Chad Bendall, Head of Global Revenue Partnerships for Snap Inc. “We look forward to continuing to work with Baidu to reach export-oriented advertisers in these key markets.”

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“Our partnership with Snap Inc. provides Chinese companies new avenues to expand their businesses through Snapchat advertising,” said Sheng Hu, Head of U.S. Strategy and Partnership at Baidu’s Global Business Unit. “We look forward to connecting with marketing executives in China and beyond on behalf of Snap to discuss the benefits of these advertising solutions.”

Advertisers purchasing media through Baidu have access to all of Snapchat’s advertising formats, including Snap Ads, Story Ads, augmented reality Lenses, and Filters. Advertisers receive robust real-time measurement, and for maximum transparency, Snap offers advertisers over a dozen third-party measurement partner options, and the new Snap Pixel for e-commerce targeting and measurement.

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Baidu Transforms Mobile Ecosystem with New Integrated AI Solutions

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.

At the Baidu Create plenary session, Dou Shen, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Baidu’s Mobile Ecosystem Group, delivered a keynote speech and shared his insights on what upgrades AI technology has made to user experience for mobile ecosystem products, such as Baidu App. He also shared an update on new developments in the Baidu App Smart Mini Program to build “New Connection” for users and developers. Shen said the application of AI technologies on Baidu App has accelerated the maturity of products based on speech and image recognition, bringing more surprise in terms of user experience. The development of Smart Mini Program enables Baidu App to enhance user experience by providing not only information, but also other products and services. “With the evolving Baidu App as the core, Baidu is creating a ‘New Mobile, New Connection, and New Ecosystem’,” he said.

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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.”

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Baidu Showcases Major Advances in AI Assistant Ecosystem with DuerOS 5.0 and New Product Innovation

Baidu, Inc. unveiled DuerOS 5.0, the latest iteration of its conversational AI system, at Baidu Create 2019 in Beijing. The upgrade advances the development of its AI assistant technology that powers a rapidly-expanding ecosystem of smart hardware products. Baidu also showcased three new DuerOS-powered smart speaker additions to its product lineup, further strengthening its innovative consumer offerings.

Baidu’s upgraded conversational AI assistant, DuerOS 5.0, pushes the burgeoning AI technology forward with two major new features. Integrating AI into real-world applications, a new ‘full-duplex’ feature allows Xiaodu to respond without the need for a wake word, creating a continuous conversation experience for users. Further underscoring Baidu’s pioneering vision for exceptional user experiences, DuerOS 5.0 also introduces a key feature that enables Xiaodu to recognize in sync when to reply and execute tasks and when to just listen and not to respond or react. The overall experience brings a seamless integration of AI to life, generating a more natural human-machine interaction.

Robin Li, Baidu’s co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, took to the Baidu Create stage and amazed attendees with a demo of Xiaodu’s new “continuous conversation” ability and its “super-high IQ”. Li said that, with the two new features, Baidu has taken a huge step forward in voice interaction experience to realize smooth human-machine communication without the hassles of constantly having to wake up devices or getting interference from conversation.

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Kun Jing, Vice President of Baidu and General Manager of Baidu Smart Living Group (SLG), officially kicked off the launch of DuerOS 5.0 and the three new Xiaodu series smart speakers at the conference. In his keynote, he said that, as of June 2019, the DuerOS voice assistant install base has surpassed 400 million and monthly voice queries on DuerOS exceeded 3.6 billion (not including those from Baidu’s apps).

As an entrance and hub for a connected world, smart speakers hold an increasingly integral position in Baidu’s smart living revolution. The launch of three new Xiaodu smart speakers further accentuates Baidu’s efforts to drive transformation in this fast-growing segment. The new devices include Xiaodu smart speakers “King Kong” , “Play” and the “Xiaodu at Home 1C 4G” battery version. All three devices are priced competitively at RMB199, demonstrating Baidu’s commitment to enabling more families to enjoy smart living affordably.

Xiaodu smart speaker “King Kong”, rolled out in early June, brings a premium and sophisticated design, complete with infrared control and DLNA projection screen technology that can instantly turn the device into a TV. Xiaodu smart speakers have also joined forces with iQiyi, whose AI projection technology powers a voice-controlled video experience. Responding to user demand for a more expansive smart speaker experience, Baidu developed its first mobile smart speaker, “Xiaodu at Home 1C 4G” battery version. The portable device runs without needing to connect to a power source, supports Nano SIM cards and can even serve as a mobile hotspot, allowing users to take Xiaodu’s AI with them anytime, anywhere. Xiaodu smart speaker “Play” was specially designed with innovative features that cater to younger generations.

Baidu’s technological strength in AI software-hardware integration has quickly translated into commercial success. According to data from three independent market research firms including Canalys, shipments of Xiaodu smart speakers ranked third globally and first in China for Q1 2019.

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Underpinning the company’s commitment to openness, Baidu’s Xiaodu Skills Open Platform has also seen explosive growth, with the number of skills growing by 300%, the skill PV by 1,926,523%, the skill types by 126% and the next-day skill retention rate by 200% between May 2018 and May 2019. Currently, the Xiaodu Skills Open Platform counts more than 32,000 developers and over 2,000 wide-ranging skills.

Further showcasing Baidu’s ecosystem of offerings, Kun Jing announced the official launch of Xiaodu VIP, which offers two joint membership models – ‘Xiaodu x iQiyi’ and ‘Xiaodu x brand’. The new VIP membership is part of Baidu’s business transformation that harnesses the power of user experience through AI by allowing users and brands to interact effortlessly.

Baidu Create 2019 provided an end-to-end demonstration of how Xiaodu’s implementation of AI technology is having a profound impact on Baidu’s leading position in the intelligent transformation of industry. Xiaodu will serve as a pioneer in shaping the future of the smart living as Baidu continues to deliver smart interactive technology and product innovation to respond to the needs of its users.

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Baidu’s Mobile Reach Expanded to 1.1 Billion Monthly Active Devices in March 2019

 Baidu, Inc.  (“Baidu” or the “Company”), the leading Chinese language Internet search provider, announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019.

“Baidu’s mobile foundation continues to strengthen with search-powered AI, and our new AI businesses are making strong progress. In March, Baidu’s mobile reach expanded to 1.1 billion monthly active devices, while DuerOS voice assistant installed base reached 275 million devices and generated 2.37 billion monthly voice queries. We are leveraging Baidu AI to provide enterprise solutions to businesses and local governments, which significantly expands our total addressable market,” said Robin Li, Chairman and CEO of Baidu. “Looking ahead, we are quite excited about the opportunities to significantly improve content and service discovery through in-app search and increase customer ROI with our entrance into CRM, to deepen our offering to our marketing customers.”

“Baidu Q1 results were solid, with revenues reaching RMB 24.1 billion, up 15% year over year, or 21% year over year, excluding revenue from divested business, and margins were dampened by our successful CCTV New Year Eve Gala marketing campaign, which accelerated the traffic of Baidu family of apps and highlighted better in-app search user experience.” said Herman Yu, CFO of Baidu. “Despite government policies to improve the market condition for SMEs, we anticipate online marketing in the near term to face a challenging environment. We will take this opportunity to improve our monetization capabilities and review our businesses for operational efficiency, while recognizing the importance to invest for sustainable long-term growth.”

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First Quarter 2019 Financial Highlights

(in millions, except for per ADS information, unaudited)

Consolidated

For the three-month ended March 31,

2018

2019

YOY

YOY[2]

2019

RMB

RMB

USD

Total revenues 

20,907

24,123

15%

21%

3,594

Operating income (loss)

4,568

(936)

(120%)

(139)

Operating margin

22%

(4%)

(4%)

Non-GAAP operating income[3]

5,371

401

(93%)

60

Non-GAAP operating margin

26%

2%

2%

Net income (loss) attributable to Baidu

6,694

(327)

(105%)

(49)

Net margin

32%

(1%)

(1%)

Non-GAAP net income attributable to Baidu

4,817

967

(80%)

144

Non-GAAP net margin

23%

4%

4%

Diluted earnings (loss) per ADS

18.68

(0.98)

(105%)

(0.15)

Non-GAAP diluted earnings per ADS

13.69

2.77

(80%)

0.41

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Management Change

Hailong Xiang, senior vice president of the search business, has tendered his resignation, and the Company has accepted Hailong’s resignation and thanks him for fourteen years of service at Baidu.

The Company has promoted Dou Shen to senior vice president, overseeing Baidu’s mobile business, previously known as the search business. Previously, Dou served as vice president of Baidu’s mobile products, overseeing the development of Baidu App, Haokan short video app and Baidu smart mini program. Dou has served in various other roles at Baidu since joining in 2012, including web search, display advertising and the financial services group. Prior to Baidu, Dou worked in the adCenter group at Microsoft and sold Buzzlabs, a social media monitoring and analysis platform company that he co-founded, to IAC-owned CityGrid Media. Dou received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from North China Electric Power University, a master’s degree in engineering from Tsinghua University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

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Baidu Rises to Top 5 in IDC Ranking of Public Cloud Services Providers in China

Leveraging Its Technological Advances in Artificial Intelligence, Baidu Is Driving Rapid Growth of Cloud Services Business

Baidu, Inc. ranked as one of the top five public cloud services providers in China in a recent survey conducted by global market intelligence firm IDC. The new position signals Baidu Cloud’s strong momentum in the fast-growing market segment driven by the company’s leading capabilities in AI technology.

Baidu Cloud ranked fifth in terms of market share in the combined Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) markets in the second half of 2018, according to the IDC China Public Cloud Services Tracker.

In its first time entering the top five ranking, Baidu significantly outpaced the growth of the overall market for its IaaS + PaaS business. In its PaaS business alone, Baidu Cloud achieved the fastest growth among all surveyed services providers, ranking fourth in terms of market share in Q4 of 2018. According to the IDC study, the China IaaS market grew by 88% percent in the second half of 2018 from the previous year, while the growth rate for the PaaS market reached 124%.

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As a leading technology company, Baidu leverages AI across its platform and offers a differentiated cloud offering through its “ABC” strategy. Integrating its leading capabilities in AI, Big Data and Cloud Computing (“ABC”), Baidu empowers enterprises across industries such as telecom, manufacturing, financial services, energy, media, entertainment and transportation with an ecosystem of intelligent solutions. Baidu recently collaborated with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and China Mobile to create an AI customer service representative, powered by Baidu’s AI technologies including facial recognition, big data, and deep learning, as part of their respective new humanized user interfaces (HUI) offering.

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“AI is driving the fourth industrial revolution. Baidu Cloud aims to help businesses and partners create value through intelligent AI-powered technology and services, accelerate the adoption of AI applications, and lead the trend of enterprise AI,” said Watson Yin, Baidu’s Vice President and General Manager of Baidu Cloud.

Baidu Cloud has consistently broadened its innovative technology offering. In December, Baidu Cloud open sourced OpenEdge, an edge computing platform that extends Baidu Cloud’s data processing and machine learning to edge devices. At Baidu’s ABC Summit held in April, Baidu Cloud released library of AI toolkits in areas including computing, network, storage and database, as well as cloud solutions for video.

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Baidu Conversational AI System: Patent Deployment Trends and Strategies (Pre-order) Report 2019

The “Baidu Conversational AI System: Patent Deployment Trends and Strategies (Pre-order)” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com‘s offering.

This report provides an overview of Baidu’s DuerOS conversational AI system and all relevant patents filed to and granted by CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration), the former SIPO (State Intellectual Property Office); addresses the patent trends and strategies of Baidu by examining the company’s patent distribution by field and technology.

Baidu has been actively investing in AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology and application development in recent years to help the company get one step closer to its goal of “All in AI”. In 2017, DuerOS, Baidu’s conversational operating system, was launched to provide voice recognition and conversational solutions for IoT (Internet of Things) applications. Through cooperation with Qualcomm, NVidia, and Intel, Baidu strives to promote widespread adoption of DuerOS in smart devices such as smartphones, networked devices, and autonomous cars.

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Users now can count on the interface and natural language processing to generate dialogues and enjoy more intuitive and human-computer interactions in 10 general categories of use cases, including entertainment, information inquiry, chat and leisure, O2O (Online to Offline), smart home, travel/transportation, utility tools, phone instructions, personal assistant and education.

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List of Topics

  • Baidu’s development in AI conversational systems and includes the analysis of its patent deployment strategies
  • Baidu conservational AI system patent grants and claims by field and by technology for the period 2013 – April 2018

Key Topics Covered:

1. Background

2. Patent Deployment

2.1 Patent Mining
2.2 Patent Analysis
2.2.1 Baidu Conservational AI System Patent Grants by Field
2.2.2 Baidu Conversational AI System Patent Grants by Technology
2.2.3 Baidu Conversational AI System Patent Claims by Field
2.2.4 Baidu Conversational AI System Patent Claims by Technology

3. Perspectives

4. Appendix

5. Glossary of Terms

6. List of Companies

Companies Mentioned

  • Alilo
  • Baidu
  • CNIPA
  • Guangdong Genius Technology Co.
  • Intel
  • NVidia
  • Qualcomm
  • SIPO
  • Xiaomi
  • Zhongshan Readboy Electronics Co

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New Baidu and Paramount Pictures Partnership Brings Transformers’ Bumblebee to Life on Mobile Phones Everywhere

Baidu, Inc., the leading Chinese-language internet search provider, has partnered with Paramount Pictures to bring immersive messaging features to fans in anticipation of the holiday premiere of “Bumblebee,” the latest film in the “Transformers” series.

“This is the first partnership of its kind between Baidu’s global business unit and a major Hollywood studio, and it couldn’t be more fitting”

Just in time for the December 21, 2018 release (US), Baidu and the Paramount International Digital group collaborated closely to bring the beloved yellow Transformer from the globally recognized franchise to a new home within Baidu’s keyboard apps in the United States, China and Japan. The Facemoji, Simeji and Baidu IME keyboards are already known for extensive libraries of emoji, customizable themes and keyboard skins, and thriving communities of creators; now, the nearly 400 million users can download and enjoy these Bumblebee-themed offerings through the apps:

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  • Bumblebee AR Emoji: Built on Baidu’s sophisticated face-tracking AI, the hyper-realistic AR rendering of everyone’s favorite Autobot mirrors the user’s expression and enables them to take selfies or create one-of-a-kind GIFs.
  • Two Bumblebee-themed Sticker Packs: Expressive stickers featuring Bumblebee and Charlie give conversations some extra gas with sayings like “Bee right there” “#TBeeT,” “High Five!” and others.

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“This is the first partnership of its kind between Baidu’s global business unit and a major Hollywood studio, and it couldn’t be more fitting,” said Mr. Jiang Feng, director of Baidu’s global business unit. “The Transformers films have nurtured a thriving community of fans, and Baidu prides itself on fostering a similar environment for its keyboard app users, where technology can be as fun as it is sophisticated. This is the perfect setting for Charlie and Bumblebee to help users and fans alike transform their messaging experience into something a bit more yellow.”

In addition to the Bumblebee-inspired AR emoji and sticker sets, users can interact with other Transformers fans within the app by voting on and downloading their favorite sticker combinations. Users no longer need to rely solely on hashtags or approximated characters when messaging friends — Paramount and Baidu are making Bumblebee accessible to everyone in and outside the movie theater.

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Airpush Announces Acquisition of General Mobile Corporation (GMobi)

Leader in Mobile Ad Tech Adds OEM Mobile Services Powerhouse to It’s Expanding Global Network

Airpush, the mobile advertising leader integrated into over 300,000 mobile apps, announced the purchase of General Mobile Corporation (GMobi), a global provider of mobile Internet services and products driving revenue in emerging markets for mobile device Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s). With this latest acquisition, Airpush now provides app developers with a comprehensive monetization platform encompassing a wide variety of revenue verticals such as advertisements, data and idle resources monetization.

GMobi reaches over 200 million users, with blue chip clientele including leading tech, retail and gaming brands such as Cheetah, Amazon, Uber and Baidu, among others. The acquisition of GMobi will complement Airpush’s existing mobile technology services in addition to its disruptive and high performing monetization and advertising solutions.

The new mobile solutions leverage advanced ad conversion metrics to gain increased user discovery to enhance sales capabilities. For Airpush customers, the GMobi acquisition means greater value via content delivery and end-user experiences.

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“We’re excited to revolutionize how brands connect with consumers,” said Paul Wu, founder and CEO of GMobi. “Combined, GMobi and Airpsuh technologies will transform mobile advertising experiences.”

“Joining forces with GMobi gives advertisers access to a unique audience that is not available through other channels,” said Stefans Keiss, CEO of Airpush. “It’s a great basis for development and scaling of a new product (AI for App Monetization) that will completely change the way developers and OEMs monetize.”

Winner of the DataWeek “Top Innovator in Advertising Data” award and recognized by Forbes as one of America’s “Most Promising Companies,” Airpush is a worldwide leader in digital advertising solutions. With powerful platforms integrated into over 300,000 mobile app, mobile web, and virtual reality properties, as well as one of the world’s largest consumer data marketplaces, Airpush provides some of the most diverse and highest performing monetization and advertising solutions in the industry. Founded in 2010, the company has approximately 250 employees and offices in Los Angeles and Bangalore, along with sales regions in all major markets.

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engage:BDR Enters into New Programmatic Advertising Agreements with Two of Asia’s Largest Programmatic Advertising Companies

Continues the Rapid Expansion of Its Programmatic Advertising Business into the Fast-Growing Chinese and Indian Markets

engage:BDR has announced that it has signed agreements with two of Asia’s largest programmatic advertising companies to integrate them into the engage:BDR programmatic platform. The first of the two Company’s is Chinese based Yeahmobi and the second has requested that its identity remain confidential for commercial reasons. The projected 2018 calendar year revenue for these two contracts is AUD $4 million to AUD $8 million.

At the time of this announcement, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Ted Dhanik said in relation to the new contracts, “We are very excited to be working with two of Asia’s largest programmatic advertising platforms representing advertisers who can now connect with the publishers on engage:BDR’s programmatic platform. engage:BDR believes they will make a significant contribution to the revenues and earnings of the business very soon, and for the years ahead.”

Yeahmobi is an advertising platform designed to help mobile technology companies achieve global growth, acquire active users and better monetise their inventory. It is headquartered in China and also has offices in Japan, the USA, and Germany.

Yeahmobi focuses on technology, data, and innovation and has assisted the internationalisation of a number of Chinese enterprises through marketing technological solutions and financial services directed towards building a global business ecosystem with their international partners.

Yeahmobi operates in the field of consumer apps, mobile games, cross-border e-commerce, internet finance, lifestyle, travel and other industries, covering over 200 countries and regions and delivering global coverage at significant scale.

Yeahmobi reported USD $97 million in revenue and a profit of USD $11 million in the first half year results of 2016 as financial disclosure for a capital raising it was conducting. As a private company, it does not generally disclose its financial results.

Yeahmobi CEO and co-founder, Xiaowu Zou was recently included in 2017 “Forbes 30 under 30 in Asia”, the annual ranking of Asia’s brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers.

Yeahmobi has client and partner agreements with a number of well known international brands including Sega, Yahoo, Baidu, and Gameloft.

The second company is one of India’s largest mobile-first digital advertisers. Although headquartered in India the company has about 20 offices around the world with over 1,000 employees and is a true global digital advertiser. The company is a private company and accordingly doesn’t generally disclose its financial results. However, recent media reports on the company have suggested that the company has current revenues of over USD $300 million and reaches over 1.6 billion unique mobile devices worldwide.

The company is investing heavily in the acquisition of App publishers through openRTB as well as the development of a proprietary in-app header bidding solution.

This focus is mainly attributed to the huge growth of the “App economy” seen in recent years, which is expected to grow to USD $950 billion in 2018.

The company has previously reported that its customers include; Adidas, BBC Radio, Canon, Lancôme, Macy’s, Microsoft, Nokia, and Yamaha.

How Programmatic Advertising Works

Programmatic advertisers primarily act for either advertisers or publishers of digital media. An advertiser is any company that wishes to advertise on the internet (eg. Toyota) and a publisher is the operator of a website (eg. TMZ.com).

engage:BDR provides an automated platform for advertisers (e.g Toyota) to participate in an auction to buy space on a publisher’s website (e.g TMZ).

engage:BDR’s clients are digital media publishers. Yeahmobi, and the other company with whom engage:BDR has recently entered into an agreement, act for digital media advertisers. Advertisers need to diversify their media publishers and hence need to work with groups like engage:BDR to gain access to unique publishers or audiences that they don’t already have connections with.

Accordingly Yeahmobi and the other Asian group will be integrated onto the engage:BDR platform, so that their advertisers can participate in auctions for media space on engage:BDR’s publisher websites.

As the USA is the world’s largest consumer market, Asian advertisers need to enter into agreements with USA-based programmatic companies, like engage:BDR, to gain access to the US market.

By integrating on to the engage:BDR platform, thousands of these two company’s advertising clients will have access to engage:BDR’s publisher network. These clients will essentially be bidding for advertising inventory across engage:BDR’s publisher network and adding to the approximately nearly 70 billion daily auctions currently conducted on the engage:BDR platform. This additional demand will significantly increase sell-through and success-rates on these auctions and increase engage:BDR’s revenues.

The incremental demand from these two companies will scale across multiple geographies, not just the Company’s USA advertising inventory. In addition to the USA, engage:BDR has significant reach, publisher relationships and advertising inventory in Europe, Australia, South America, Asia and Canada, and it will also enable it to increase revenues being derived from these markets.

SEMrush Raises $40 Million to Further Refine Search Analytics Using AI/ML

SEMrush Is Dedicated to Continue Helping Marketers All over the World Build and Execute Winning Marketing Strategies Using Machine Learning Algorithms for Search Analytics

SEMrush, the leading competitive intelligence and end-to-end analytics platform for digital marketing professionals, announced that it has raised a total of $40 million in funding led by Greycroft, Siguler Guff, and e.ventures. SEMrush is the industry standard to improve insights, analytics, and measurement for digital marketers.

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Oleg Shchegolev, CEO, SEMrush
Oleg Shchegolev, CEO, SEMrush

At the time of this announcement, Oleg Shchegolev, CEO and co-founder of SEMrush, said, “In today’s increasingly connected world, many companies win or lose based on their marketing strategy, specifically their digital strategy. In 2017, digital ad spend finally surpassed TV. While competition in digital marketing intensifies, SEMrush is dedicated to continue helping marketers all over the world build and execute winning marketing strategies.”

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Dylan Pearce, Partner at Greycroft, said, “SEMrush has emerged as the global leader in digital marketing software and a must-have solution for virtually all competitive companies. With its world-class technical talent, we believe SEMrush can become the next great technology platform.”

SEMrush to Expand Its Machine Learning Powered Market Intelligence Capabilities and Proprietary Database

The funding will allow SEMrush to expand its Machine Learning powered market intelligence capabilities and proprietary database. The database supports more than 125 countries through many signals and data sources. These comprehensive data sets include search engine marketing (SEM) data such as one of the world’s largest backlink indexes, user behavior data, social media performance metrics, and brand mentions.

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SEMrush’s software combines and analyses these signals to provide users with actionable insights. This enables clients to answer complex questions such as, “How can my page load or bounce rate impact my ranking in search engines?”, “What backlinks might be bad for my website?”, or “What title or topic should I choose to make my article perform?”

SEMrush Will Also Expand to Additional Platforms Such as Amazon and Baidu

Roman Simonov, Managing Director of Siguler Guff, said, As the firm grows at high-pace, this funding round will take the company to the next level in terms of products offered and verticals covered.”

Roman added, “Siguler Guff is proud to be the first institutional backer of the company and recognizes the tremendous commercial value that SEMrush brings to its clients, small and large, in over 150 countries.”

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SEMrush will also expand to additional platforms such as Amazon and Baidu, as new and existing platforms become vital to any digital marketing strategy. Furthermore, the funding will drive strategic acquisitions, enable SEMrush to scale the executive team, and support its best-of-breed technical expertise.

Nick Wilsdon, Product Owner, Search, Vodafone Group, said, “The most important thing I can have really is data. Data is my currency. I need to support initiatives, business cases – any tools that give me the insight I find incredibly useful. Then when it comes to measuring these initiatives, the reporting comes in handy. SEMrush is a very solid package that delivers exactly that.”

SEMrush was recently recognized as the Best SEO Software Suite in the US, UK and won the European Search Awards 2017.

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AI Evolves … and Organizations that Manage Digital Content Benefit

NuxeoArtificial intelligence (AI) has been used within information-driven businesses for many years now. For example, think about forms processing applications where AI technology automatically extracts key data points while capturing and scanning a paper file or ingesting an electronic document. These applications are “trained” with a sample set of forms and then learns from these. This enables the AI technology to process potentially thousands of files with minimal human interaction. 

Despite being around for many years, artificial intelligence is currently enjoying a resurgence. This renaissance is being driven beyond simple forms processing and the categorization of documents – it’s also being leveraged by digital asset management (DAM) solutions that manage videos, audio files, images and other types of rich content. 

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Taking Advantage of AI Today

Rich content like videos and images have been difficult to work with, in the past, and typically humans have had to “understand” the digital asset being stored in order to properly classify and manage it. This has often been a manual, inconsistent and time-consuming process.

However, advances in AI (fueled by an annual investment of around $30b from organizations such as Amazon, Google, and Baidu) are now enabling organizations to automate the process of classifying and extracting key attributes and data points from images, audio files, and videos in increasingly sophisticated and intelligent ways. Advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) enable enterprises to not only automate how content and data are identified and categorized, but it does so in a manner that is more consistent and accurate than manual approaches. 

Artificial intelligence is also used by many businesses today to automate transaction-based processes such as invoice processing and claims management. These are use cases with strict controls relating to the use of templates, workflows, metadata management, access permissions and other clearly-defined rules – and these are the type of highly-repetitive processes that AI can automate and streamline.

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 Leveraging AI in the Very Near Future

There’s no doubt that many businesses are seeing measurable benefits by using AI to automate many information-centric processes that have been traditionally been managed in manual, inconsistent and error-prone ways. However, we’re now beginning to see AI expanding to more dynamic parts of the business – areas that do not follow regular patterns. 

Early use cases leveraging artificial intelligence required large amounts of data for the AI technology to be adequately “trained,” which was inherently difficult when dealing with dynamic and ad-hoc processes. This is because most early AI deployments used a technique known as machine learning, which essentially looks at large data sets to establish patterns, and then builds rules and algorithms to “make use” of those patterns. This is very similar to the way in an adult learns a new language – we build our vocabulary and then work to understand and apply the rules. Anyone who has tried to learn a new language as an adult knows how hard this is.

The alternative approach is to learn like a child does – by observation and experimentation. By trying out new ways of forming and using language – over and over again. The “learner” often gets things wrong, but they learn more rapidly.

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In AI terms, this technique is known as deep learning, and it offers significant benefits in environments that are more dynamic and where large training data sets do not exist.

Deep learning is the future for AI within non-transactional business scenarios, and it’s being used in many video, image, and voice processing applications today. The results being generated by these tools are now proven to be more accurate than humans in accurately classifying rich content, and this form of AI is making its way into more and more dynamic use cases within businesses. 

It’s clear to see that AI will continue to play a big role in automating and simplifying all aspects of business operations. For organizations that manage substantial volumes of digital assets, artificial intelligence and deep learning technology will provide value beyond simple understanding and classification and will evolve to deliver more predictive and analytic capabilities. The question surrounding AI is no longer if an organization will be using it, but rather when, where and how.

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