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Wen / Xin Zhiyuan
Source: Xinzhiyuan (ID: AI)_ era）
IBM China Research Institute, one of IBM’s 12 largest research institutions in the world and the most influential research institution in China, has been revealed to be completely closed.
Recently, according to Weibo netizen @ horsepower in Zhiqun, IBM CRL (IBM China Research Institute) was closed, and accompanied by exclamatory words to miss this once brilliant Research Institute, “silent”. The wheel of history rolls forward.
IBM China Research Institute, founded in September 1995, is now 25 years old. Many well-known scientific and technological achievements have come out of this department, including the famous artificial intelligence program Watson.
After verification, the news is basically true, “IBM China Research Institute has been closed recently, but IBM China Development Laboratory, IBM China system laboratory and customer innovation center are also in the same building. IBM’s future R & D layout in China may be based on these R & D laboratories and innovation centers. ”
Such news caused a sensation in the science and technology circle.
On the one hand, in the era of increasingly fierce competition in the Internet, such a well-known and high-tech foreign enterprise research institute has been closed, which is a pity.
On the other hand, IBM also announced its financial report recently, and its revenue has declined for ten consecutive quarters. It seems that the former “big blue” has disappeared.
Alvin Krishna, CEO of IBM
This is not only the end of an era, but also the end of a generation of foreign enterprises. Let’s start with IBM China Research Institute itself.
IBM’s first research center in developing countries, talent gathering, the cradle of “Watson”
IBM China Research Institute, also known as IBM CRL, is located in the northwest corner of Beijing Shangdi Information Industry Base and in Zhongguancun Software Park. It is IBM’s first research center in developing countries.
In 2008, IBM China Research Institute Shanghai Branch was established. Over the past 20 years, there have been more than 100 thousand researchers working in the Institute, most of whom have doctorates and master’s degrees from China’s or even world-class universities.
The main research directions of IBM CRL are system and network, information management and collaboration, distributed computing and system management, and next generation services.
In the field of cognitive computing, the most famous achievement of IBM China Research Institute is Watson, which was born in 2011. It is named after Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM. It is a computer system that can answer questions raised by natural language.
The R & D process of “Watson” has lasted for four years. Nearly 30 researchers around the world have participated in the development. In addition to American research institutes, IBM’s China Research Institute, Japan Research Institute and Israel Research Institute have also participated in the development.
Watson is a set of high-level natural language processing, information retrieval, knowledge representation, automatic reasoning, machine learning and other open question answering technology applications. According to the researchers, Watson can process 500 GB of data per second, which is equivalent to reading 1 million books in one second. In 2011, the system’s TV Q & a program jeopardy! Was launched in the United States He beat two human champions in the first World War and became famous in the first World War.
This research has been used as a medical assistant artificial intelligence system, and its prospect seems simple and practical: just input the patient’s personal information into the system, and the system will recommend the appropriate treatment scheme for medical students based on a large number of medical research, medical guidelines, clinical trials and other information.
In addition to cognitive computing, IBM China Research Institute’s research areas include industry solutions, computing as a service, and the Internet of things.
However, IBM’s pillar areas may not have brought the expected results, while Watson took the lead in the medical sector, but did not move forward, and the “Internet of things 3.0” proposed by Watson also failed to yield results.
With the rise of domestic Internet companies, IBM and many other foreign enterprises are becoming more and more marginalized in China. There are reasons for the times, but it may also have something to do with IBM’s dismal overall situation in recent years.
From “Watson” to Internet of things 3.0, IBM China Research Institute has developed for 25 years
IBM Research Institute has 12 laboratories around the world, three of which are located in the United States.
Nine places outside the United States are Zurich in Switzerland, Haifa in Israel, Tokyo in Japan, Beijing in China, Delhi and Bangalore in India, Nairobi in Kenya and Johannesburg in South Africa, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, Dublin in Ireland and Melbourne in Australia.
As an AI media, new Zhiyuan has also had exchanges with several presidents of IBM China Research Institute.
On March 29, 2018, Shen Xiaowei, President of China Research Institute of IBM, attended the AI industry transition summit of new Zhiyuan and made a speech entitled “foreseeing the innovation and transition in the era of artificial intelligence”. He discussed how artificial intelligence, quantum computing and blockchain technology quietly changed the pattern of computing and Commerce, and looked forward to the trend of technological innovation in the era of artificial intelligence.
In 2019, Yang Jing, founder of new Zhiyuan, and Ms. Lin Yonghua, the first female president of IBM China Research Institute in 24 years, attended the IEEE wie summit.
The fourth from the left is Ms. Lin Yonghua, President of IBM China Research Institute
For a long time, the research fields of IBM China Research Institute span multiple disciplines and industries. The key research topics include big data analysis, cloud computing, Internet of things and technology innovation and application of cognitive computing. At present, there are successful solutions in the fields of environmental protection, power and energy, logistics and supply chain, medical and financial services.
Even so, it is unexpected that, like many foreign enterprises leaving China, IBM China Research Institute will say goodbye.
Will foreign enterprises become more and more marginalized in China after 2020?
In recent years, there are many examples of foreign enterprises and foreign research institutes saying “goodbye” to China, which seems to imply that the golden age of foreign enterprises is gone forever.
On March 19, 2015, Yahoo announced its withdrawal from the Chinese market and its Beijing R & D center was closed.
In 2019, Amazon announced its exit from China.
In the same year, Oracle, an enterprise software company, officially closed its R & D center in China and cut about 900 employees after being impacted by cloud computing.
Many people are sighing that the era of foreign enterprises has passed. The beautiful scenery of foreign enterprise employees wearing suits and ties, drinking coffee and speaking English is no longer there.
First of all, this is a way for foreign enterprises to make strategic adjustments under the situation of decoupling of science and technology between China and the United States in the new era. Just as IBM made the following reply to the closing of China Research Institute this time, it acquiesced to the news of the closing of China Research Institute
On the other hand, Chinese enterprises have set up their own research institutes, which is in sharp contrast with Huawei Research Institute. Perhaps these research institutes rooted in the local environment have more advantages in the long-term development in China.
The closure of IBM China Research Institute has aroused extensive discussion among netizens.
Some people miss this “dream workplace” with boundless scenery:
But it’s more about the times:
Anyway, pay homage to IBM China Research Institute! Then say goodbye seriously.
(statement: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not Sina’s position.)