The 5th Baidu & Xi'an Jiaotong University Big Data Competition and the 1st IKCEST “The Belt and Road” International Big Data Competition was held in Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) on April 25th, which was hosted jointly by the International Knowledge Centre for Engineering Sciences and Technology under the auspices of UNESCO (IKCEST), China Knowledge Centre for Engineering Sciences and Technology (CKCEST), Baidu and XJTU. Song Dexiong, Director General of Department of General Administration of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) and Executive Deputy Director of IKCEST, Zheng Qinghua, Vice President of XJTU, Li Xuanya, Director of Baidu Campus and others attended and jointly launched the first international big data competition for college students of the “Belt and Road” Initiative.
Aiming to tap and train the world's top AI talents, the competition welcomes contestants from countries along the “Belt and Road” Initiative, in the hope of achieving a joint effort from "Government + Enterprise + University" to promote the research, application and development of the big data industry, further consolidates the theoretical basis and practical foundation of the competition, and accelerates the training of top-notch AI innovative talents. Vice President Zheng Qinghua said in his speech, “Big data and AI, as two important forces to promote the process of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, need more young talents to support. Based on the importance of big data talents and the common expectation of big data field, our university and Baidu launched the big data competition, which has been successfully held five times. This year, with the support of IKCEST and other key institutions, the competition has been further upgraded. This is not only a new attempt on the integration mode of government, enterprises, universities and research institutes, but also an excellent opportunity for students majoring in big data to show themselves and practice their skills.”
IKCEST is an important international organization that is committed to mobilizing the engineering and technological forces of global scientific research institutes, enterprises and universities, integrating data resources and realizing the discovery and application of knowledge from big data. Its participation has brought more international visions to the competition. Song Dexiong said, “It can be seen that the disruptive information technology led by big data and AI is the technical basis for providing high-quality knowledge services and also a major national development strategy for China to accelerate the construction of an innovative country, build a world science and technology power and lead a better future. At the same time, it has gradually become the core competitiveness urgently needed by countries along the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative. The start of this competition not only opens up a new journey for IKCEST to cultivate international talents in the field of AI, but also coincides with the mission of the CAE to respond to the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative and promote the development of engineering science and technology in a global perspective.”
As one of the organizers of this event, Li Xuanya, Director of Baidu Campus, hopes to cultivate more excellent young technical talents through the competition. He said: “With the rapid development of science and technology, big data has become an important technology field which keeps pace with AI, and has spilled over into all aspects of social production and life. As a pioneer of AI, Baidu also has profound accumulation and advantages in big data field. Baidu has set up a big data laboratory, BDL, and has the capability of real-time computing on a super large scale, accurate identification capability of multi-terminal cross-screen users, deep learning and digging, intelligent prediction, recommendation algorithm and other capabilities. Baidu big data engine will also open Baidu brain, Baidu data factory and Baidu open cloud as a level-three open platform to the industry, hoping to promote the progress of the whole industry with Baidu's big data technology. The cultivation of young talents has become the key to the sustainable and healthy development of the whole industry.”
It is understood that the competition, with the theme of "urban regional function classification based on satellite remote sensing image and user behavior", is open to universities, scientific research institutes, enterprises, maker teams and individuals around the world. It provides up to 550,000 samples free of charge, covering satellite remote sensing images and Internet big data of 70 cities and requires the participating teams to design a city regional function classification model. Different from the previous single data, the competition innovatively adopts the cross fusion form of “Industrial big data + Internet big data”. Its model is multi-mode learning problem, in which remote sensing image belongs to image mode, and user behavior belongs to time-series mode. The superposition of the two gives more space for the contestants to play creatively. In addition, as the first international big data competition open to universities along the “Belt and Road” Initiative, it is expected to cover 300 universities in dozens of countries and regions, and strives to build a China big data name card on the New Silk Road.
It is worth mentioning that in this competition, Baidu will provide open source framework for deep learning of PaddlePaddle for contestants to help build and train their data models, so as to achieve better results. Just two days ago, at the Baidu's first WAVE SUMMIT also called 2019 Deep Developers Learners SUMMIT, PaddlePaddle officially released its Chinese name, “fei jiang”, releasing 100 million yuan of computing power support to developers. Wang Haifeng, Senior Vice President of Baidu and Director of National Engineering Laboratory of deep learning technology and application, pointed out that through the deep learning framework, AI can also realize the universality of "framework capability" in "deep" level. In this way, domain-specific AI applications can also be “mass-produced”. With the strong support of this platform, this competition has added more highlights.
The 5th Baidu & Xi'an Jiaotong University Big Data Competition and the 1st IKCEST “The Belt and Road” International Big Data Competition, which serves as the international upgrading of Baidu-XJTU data competition, not only inherits the original intention of the first four competitions to consolidate the talent base of big data for China, but also “goes global” with confidence and openness, so that the world can perceive Chinese strength and practice the Silk Road spirit featuring “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”.