China / Soundai / 29

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Chang Le isn’t afraid to com­pete with gi­ants. In 2016, she founded Soundai in Bei­jing. Soundai de­vel­ops soft­ware for smart speak­ers – China’s an­swer to the likes of Ama­zon Echo and Google Home. Her tech­nol­ogy is used in smart speak­ers pro­duced by China’s search en­gine op­er­a­tor Baidu and re­tail gi­ant Alibaba. The 29-year-old, who stud­ied elec­tron­ics en­gi­neer­ing and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, sees voice-con­trolled ap­pli­ca­tions based on learn­ing al­go­rithms as “the next big thing.” SoundAI is work­ing on de­vel­op­ing a sys­tem that can also be used in cars. “Driv­ing is a chal­leng­ing sce­nario for voice recog­ni­tion be­cause of the back­ground noises com­ing from the tires and en­gine,” says Chang Le. In­vestors be­lieve in her. Last year, Chang Le raised 15 mil­lion dol­lars in a sin­gle fi­nanc­ing round.

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