Category Archives: AI

Shenzhen one of four AI zones

The Ministry of Science and Technology has named Hefei, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Tianjin as the country’s four cities to build national pilot zones for “next-generation artificial intelligence”. 

Forgive us, but the announcement is full of the usual government jargon that makes little sense to an international audience but bears repeating here: Hefei is required to take full advantages of its talent and technology and strengthen the supply of artificial intelligence innovation; Hangzhou is required to strengthen the clustering effect of high-end resources and improve the level of artificial intelligence innovation and development; Tianjin is required to integrate artificial intelligence innovation resources and strengthen it’s intelligent technology industrial cluster;  Shenzhen, is required to build an artificial intelligence innovation highland with international competitiveness.

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Shenzhen Metro Line goes ‘all-brush’

One-upmanship between Guangzhou and Shenzhen over AI-driven subway technology is continuing to provide reporters with fun material. Last week, Guangzhou opened two “Smart Stations” on its Metro, powered by AI algorithms. This week it is Shenzhen’s turn to promote the rollout of automated customer service kiosks and announce the entire Metro Line 11 now has “brush-face” gates.

The new customer service kiosks allow riders to register their faces for purchasing tickets, topping up their Metro cards, and other services. Initially, only those who get to ride the line for free can use them to register for “face-brushing”, but they will be upgraded soon for paid ticketing. In the meantime, everyone can use the kiosks for performing a variety of other transactions. 

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Guangzhou opens ‘Smart Stations’

Guangzhou media are buzzing today with the opening of the provincial capital’s first “smart station” demonstration, delivered by tech giant Tencent.

The demo was set up at two stations – Tianhe Smart City Station and Guangzhou Tower. Features on display included “brush-face” scanners, customer service robots, auto-adjusted lighting. “More importantly, however,” the local media pointed out, station managers can manage everything going on in the station, including scheduling, without much direct involvement, i.e. letting the algorithms do the work.

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Shenzhen’s robotics industry booms

Shenzhen is witnessing a new growth spurt in its robotics industry. According to a report by the city government, robotics enterprises registered in Shenzhen last year jumped 55% to 649, while their output rose 13.81% to RMB117.8 billion. 

The report encompassed robots manufactured for industrial use, service and other related AI fields. The majority of the output value last year came from industrial robots – RMB80.3 billion, up 6.25% – yet service robots saw the biggest jump, up 21.79% to RMB 34 billion. Driving this growth has been investment in artificial intelligence applications in the industry.

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SenseTime goes to Abu Dhabi

Hongkong-based AI firm SenseTime Group Ltd., one of the world’s most valuable unicorns, has formed a strategic alliance with Abu Dhabi to set up an EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Artificial Intelligence R&D hub, according to a company statement. 

SenseTime is the world’s fastest growing pure-play AI company with a valuation of over US$4.5 billion. The company offers customers AI as a “value creation” tool in sectors ranging from autonomous driving to medical image analysis and remote sensing.

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JD.com builds ‘AI town’ in Dongguan

Ecommerce giant JD.com has chosen Dongguan to build an “artificial intelligence town”. Groundbreaking took place this week on the 1.8 million sqm project, which will be completed in three phases with a total investment of RMB20 billion, according to local media. 

Perhaps surprisingly, JD.com did not choose to go into the Songshan Lake hi-tech district, but instead acquired a 380,000 sqm plot in Fenggang for RMB1.06 billion. The so-called JD AI Town aims to become a new “platform” and its focus is the Greater Bay Area. The company says the project will include R&D space, smart manufacturing facilities, and “modern enterprise services”. 

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Huawei focuses AI on cervical cancer

Huawei Technologies has had time to develop new business lines while fighting off the US government, apparently. The company announced this week its joint venture with Kingmed Diagnostics, a third-party medical testing institution, had been “making progress” in using AI to help with diagnosis of cervical cancer.

Using Huawei’s AI development platform ModelArts, the screening model is able to use the diagnostic criteria of pathologists to assist the screening of cervical cancer. On the basis of a rejection rate higher than 60%, the model can achieve 99% correction rate of the interpretation of negative films and 99.9% of positive lesions.

The new model can help fill in the gap between the limited number of pathologists and an estimated 350 million female women eligible to be examined. The traditional screening process requires pathologists to read the film under microscopes one by one, with judgments based on the human eye and personal experience, which requires a training process of around 10 years. There are only 20,000 registered pathologists in China, however, and another 80,000 to 100,000 are needed.

Read more in Chinese.