Alibaba shows off AI capabilities amid rising competition

Updated 2017-12-21 11:00:33 Global Times

Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group used a conference in Beijing on Wednesday to show off its technological innovation and advances in artificial intelligence (AI), amid rising competition with global giants like Google that are also eyeing the sector.

At the Computing Conference Beijing Summit, Alibaba officially revealed the logo for its most advanced AI technology, dubbed the ET Brain, and said that the service could enter the market in the near future, according to media reports.

The ET Brain would be applicable to a host of industries, including urban management, industrial optimization, healthcare, environmental protection and air traffic control, a report on domestic news website sohu.com said on Wednesday.

The new ET Brain is an upgrade from earlier versions released at the same event last year and will help Alibaba in its goal to become a leader in the global AI industry, the report said, citing Min Wanli, chief AI scientist at Alibaba Cloud Computing Services.

The preview of the ET Brain on Wednesday came as domestic and global rivals are investing heavily in AI technology, which is viewed as a potential game-changer for a wide-range of industries.

On December 13, Google Inc announced that it would open a new research facility for AI in Beijing, marking a strong comeback for Google in the Chinese market, according to Bloomberg.

Domestic search engine giant Baidu Inc has also been investing heavily in AI, developing a wide range of products using its AI technologies and cloud computing, including a self-driving car.

Tencent Holdings is also making waves in AI research and development and is reportedly set to expand its U.S. facility.

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