Cheetah Mobile, still new to AI, bashes rivals for cheating

Updated 2018-03-26 13:47:03

To a lot of people, an industry new-comer should stay humble and learn, but Cheetah Mobile (CM), a Chinese mobile app company that recently entered the AI field, is provoking some rivals by claiming they are cheating customers.

"Let's make it real," said Fu Sheng, CEO of the company, during a product launch in Beijing's Water Cube on Wednesday.

Faking it?

Fu owned the show that night by making a series of comments bashing fake AI robots.

For a start, he called "Jiaojiao", the robot in China's Bank of Communication, a "video chat terminal" which cannot think, listen or speak at all without a real person operating the back end.

Another robot bashed was Sophia, a Saudi Arabian citizen built by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics.

You may have heard a lot about this robot due to her vivid facial expressions. She played rock paper scissors with CNBC's Jimmy Fallon and won last year.

But after playing the CNBC video, Fu said the conversation was scripted and no AI was involved at all.

"I happen to know a Hanson Robotics investor. I asked the person if Sophia's reaction was prerecorded instead of generated by AI. 'We have to do this now and then for publicity,' the person told me."

The bashing also went from domestic to international, when he said the SoftBank robot Pepper "cannot pick almost anything up," and that Honda's ASIMO "requires charging every half hour."

"If you say 'attendant, please fill my glass with wine,' you won't be properly served by any robot available without a guide rail," Fu concluded.

"We humans, after millions of years of evolution, will not be beaten by a single algorithm."

CM and AI

CM is more commonly known as a mobile app company, with heir Clean Master being the world's leading Android optimization app, and Live.me, a mobile-casting platform, which is available in 85 countries and regions.

For its users, the company's AI move may seem abrupt. But deep down, there is a clear logic, according to CM's international PR manager Om Buffalo.

"We'd been using AI in our existing products for a long time... in 2016," Buffalo told CGTN. "It's just a natural process."

He also offered more proof of CM's AI accumulation: Xiaomi's phone AI is powered by CM's Orion AI platform.

By Gong Zhe

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