Baidu has opened up one of its machine learning tools to the internet’s AI developer community. Following in the footsteps of other internet giants – such as Microsoft, Google and Facebook – the Chinese company’s PaddlePaddle tool is now open source. Baidu says that the advantage the tool has over its Western rivals is its simplicity, claiming that it is more approachable for newcomers. Xu Wei, leader of PaddlePaddle’s development, said that before wide adoption of the product can happen, “[engineers and developers] need to have an easy-to-use framework", adding that an example of this ease is the toolkit’s machine translation, which requires less than 25% of the coding of its rivals. The move by tech companies to make complex AI programmes available to the public is set to shape the development of a rapidly growing field whilst allowing the firms to find new talent.