So­gou CEO: China’s AI in­dus­try has em­braced growth

China Daily - - WORLD INTERNET CONFERENCE - By ZHAO TINGTING in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang prov­ince Con­tact the writer at zhaot­ingt­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s AI in­dus­try has em­braced rapid growth in the re­cent five years, said Wang Xiaochuan, CEO of Chi­nese search en­gine So­gou, in Wuzhen, East China’s Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

“At the ba­sic sci­en­tific level, there is still a gap be­tween China and the United States. While at the ap­pli­ca­tion level, China is able to be­come the world’s lead­ing ex­per­i­menter,” Wang said in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with China Daily web­site at the Fifth World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence.

China’s large pop­u­la­tion cre­ates ad­van­tages in big data, which is the key driver for the AI to­day rep­re­sented by deep learn­ing.

“The spirit of en­trepreneurs, cou­pled with our pre­vi­ous lowlevel data ac­cu­mu­la­tion and ex­ten­sive ap­pli­ca­tion mar­ket, has taken China to an in­ter­net era and opened an op­por­tu­nity to ap­ply AI tech­nolo­gies. China can im­prove its com­pet­i­tive­ness in the world and im­prove peo­ple’s daily lives if we can make good use of this win­dow to up­grade the AI in­dus­try,” Wang added.

Bei­jing-based So­gou, which went pub­lic on the New York Stock Ex­change in Novem­ber last year, runs China’s most pop­u­lar in­put method and the sec­ond-largest search en­gine, as well as So­gou browser.

“So­gou has 500 mil­lion daily users of in­put method and 400 mil­lion daily users of search en­gine, so we are clear about ap­pli­ca­tion sce­nar­ios and data ac­cu­mu­la­tion for AI de­vel­op­ment,” Wang said.

So­gou’s lan­guage-cen­tered AI tech­nolo­gies have been widely ap­plied in pro­vid­ing daily and si­mul­ta­ne­ous in­ter­pre­ta­tion ser­vices.

“Lan­guage is still a bar­rier in to­day’s glob­al­iza­tion of in­for­ma­tion civ­i­liza­tion,” Wang said. “We took it up as a mis­sion to solve the trans­la­tion prob­lem with AI tech­nolo­gies and big data.”

“We be­lieve that with the land­ing of trans­la­tion tech­nolo­gies, the fu­ture era is not only in­for­ma­tion­za­tion, but the be­gin­ning of an in­tel­li­gent civ­i­liza­tion.”

So­gou launched the world’s first vir­tual an­chor tech­nol­ogy on the open­ing day of the in­ter­net con­fer­ence, which be­gan on Wed­nes­day and ends on Fri­day.

The tech­nol­ogy can cre­ate an AI avatar model based on a real an­chor by us­ing cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies, such as de­tect­ing key points on the face, ex­tract­ing face fea­tures, fa­cial re­con­struc­tion, lipread­ing recog­ni­tion and emo­tion mi­gra­tion.

Syn­thetic video news with an AI avatar can be cre­ated by the ma­chine af­ter train­ing and cal­cu­lat­ing video and au­dio ma­te­ri­als from a real an­chor.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping re­cently called for step­ping up ef­forts to de­velop the new gen­er­a­tion of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence tech­nol­ogy and stressed that China will unswerv­ingly en­cour­age, sup­port and guide the de­vel­op­ment of the pri­vate sec­tor and sup­port pri­vate en­ter­prises to de­velop to­ward a broader stage.

“I feel so hon­ored to be liv­ing in this time and we should work harder to live up to such an op­por­tu­nity,” said Wang.

To de­scribe China’s so­cial and eco­nomic achievements af­ter the coun­try in­tro­duced the re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy 40 years ago, Wang said it brought earth­shak­ing changes and of­fered “op­por­tu­nity, pros­per­ity and con­ve­nience” to all or­di­nary Chi­nese peo­ple.

“We live in an era of mir­a­cles. We ex­pect more guid­ance from the gov­ern­ment in the process of China’s fur­ther re­form and open­ing-up, which will en­cour­age us for to in­no­vate more,” Wang added.

So­gou re­ported rev­enue of $276.57 mil­lion for the third quar­ter of the year.

of So­gou’s AI soft­ware at the Light of the In­ter­net Expo in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

ZHU XINGXIN / CHINA DAILY

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