Chinese companies are looking for advantages in using artificial intelligence

Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu use massive databases to test new features. Already, the Chinese technological trio has clear advantages over rivals from Silicon Valley.

According to Robin Lee, CEO and founder of Baidu, "Baidu knows you better than you know yourself."

Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent readily joined the AI ​​race : they established specialized laboratories and hired top specialists. Like Google, they are developing unmanned vehicles, methods of medical diagnostics using AI and intelligent systems with voice control.

“Last year, we viewed AI as one of our top priorities, and this focus remains in our strategy,” said Mark Rehn, chief operating officer of Tencent, a month ago.

Alibaba shares a similar position, arguing that AI penetrates into every area of ​​their business, without remaining a separate division.

Xiaofeng Wang, Forrester senior analyst, notes that the difference now is in the scale of the data companies possess and the speed at which machines can process them: “You can easily offer personalization for a small group of customers, but for millions it is very difficult to do. and the question is how quickly you can achieve it. "

Alibaba has already begun to advertise the benefits derived from the use of AI in the annual income statement. Jeff Zhang, chief technical officer of the company, told analysts earlier this year that the greatest change that occurred was the fact that now it really began to process 1,000 petabytes of data. “We generate and collect all possible data types,” he said. “We want to use them to improve personalization, search, security, and customer services.”

This is confirmed by Singles' Day (the bachelor's day, which is celebrated throughout China on November 11). Alibaba used AI to create 400 million custom banners per month. Chat bots of the company answered 3.5 million simple questions per day.

Edouard de Metzeras, chief analyst for Oliver Wyman in the Asia-Pacific region, talks about another aspect of the use of AI on Taobao - the third most important e-commerce platform, Alibaba. It allows you to search by image, while using deep learning technology. For example, users may find a dress similar to the one in which the celebrity was at the last party. There is still no such feature on Amazon.

This industry is in its infancy, but such examples prove that China can take a leading position in the field of AI.

There is another factor that will contribute to the growth of China in this area: its platform for testing AI products is more than anywhere else in the world. Testing can be carried out on the example of the experience of 1 billion users, and the rate and scale of investment here is significantly higher than in the USA. In addition, unlike in Western countries, the issue of invasion of privacy and the legality of using the collected data is less relevant in China.

A hint of how Chinese tech giants can use AI is found in communications and healthcare. So, Alibaba takes voice assistants like Siri or Alexa to a new level, planning to launch devices for selling tickets at subway stations. They will be able to filter out the surrounding noise and highlight the voice of the person buying the ticket. The technology itself (using microphones and cameras to identify the speaker) is not new, said Jiji Yang, who heads the speech interaction unit at Alibaba. New its embodiment in a particular product. It brings personal assistants to new arenas: to airports, railway stations, restaurants, and reception desks in hotels.

More developed artificial intelligence and more data are applicable in the medical field. Tencent is one of the companies that is hoping to use AI for the detection of lung cancer in its early stages and is developing in this direction.


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