Alibaba is teaming up with SenseTime, the world’s highest-valued AI startup, to launch a not-for-profit synthetic intelligence lab in Hong Kong in a bid to make the town a world hub for synthetic intelligence.
Alibaba, which is SenseTime’s largest single investor because of a recent $600 million round at a valuation of $4.5 billion, is offering financing for the “HKAI Lab” by means of its Hong Kong entrepreneurship fund. SenseTime stated it should contribute too, though the entire quantity of capital backing the initiative hasn’t been revealed.
The companions of the venture — which additionally consists of the Hong Kong Science and Expertise Parks Company (HKSTP) — stated the goal is to “advance the frontiers of AI,” which incorporates serving to startups commercialize their expertise, develop concepts and promote information sharing within the AI area.
That’s all pretty common — Alibaba has a monitor report of politicking by means of expertise funding schemes in Larger China and Southeast Asia — however one tangible venture is a six-month accelerator program deliberate for September which can welcome AI startups to the HKAI Lab. Alibaba’s Cloud enterprise and HKSTP are among the many backers who will assist this system supply early-stage funding to profitable candidates, whereas Alibaba and SenseTime will assist with mentoring and growth throughout this system.
“Alibaba sees AI as a basic expertise that may make a distinction to society,” Alibaba govt vice chairman Joe Tsai stated in an announcement. “We envision the Hong Kong AI Lab to be an open platform the place researchers, startups and business contributors can collaborate and construct a tradition of innovation.”
China and the U.S. are the 2 largest gamers within the international AI battle, this venture alone gained’t divert that but it surely may fire up potential in Hong Kong.
Alibaba maintains tight relationships in Hong Kong, significantly by means of the fund which is round $130 million in dimension. Whereas this system is ostensibly geared toward selling startups in Hong Kong, significantly round AI, it is usually positive to provoke Alibaba’s ties to Hong Kong’s institution and tech group. Hong Kong is rising as a vacation spot for startups, as a number of the city-state’s key players discussed at a TechCrunch China event last year, however nonetheless the difficulty of expertise is a key one and this initiative may benefit Hong Kong in that respect.