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IFlytek partners innovation initiative in Shaanxi capital

source:Xinhua release date:2018/07/13 hits:12

IFlytek, an artificial intelligence-focused tech giant based in Hefei, Anhui province, is extending its business presence in Shaanxi province.

In May, the company signed a cooperation agreement with the Xi'an government to set up Xi'an IFlytek Hyper-brain Information Technology Co in July.

According to the agreement, the subsidiary will combine several functions, serving as a research institution, and an innovation and entrepreneurship platform to aid the city's innovative development.

The subsidiary will join hands with the Xi'an government to promote the AI industry in fields ranging from education, medical treatment and legal administration.

In addition, the two will cooperate in fields such as automobiles, robotics and personnel training, to build Xi'an into an internationally renowned tourism city. The aim is to explore a new development pattern with the combination of AI and regional innovation applications.

Fu Minglei, general manager of iFlytek's new subsidiary, said that Xi'an is home to extensive tech resources and a sound business environment, and the city government has attached major importance to the tech innovation industry, so it is worthwhile for his company to invest here.

To further the company's sustainable development, iFlytek is pouring 80 percent of its efforts into its core business operations to generate profit, with the remaining 20 percent being devoted to longer-term research, Fu said.

"AI runs through all aspects of our daily lives," he said, adding that iFlytek chooses to apply its technologies in industries related to social life.

To date, iFlytek has cooperated with more than 13,000 schools in China for them to apply its educational products. Last year, the company worked with the National Health Commission to found the country's first AI hospital to provide AI diagnoses for diseases such as lung and breast cancer.

"In the third wave of AI, core technologies, sophisticated experts and industry data are three indispensable elements," Fu said.

IFlytek has won awards for its speech synthesis technology in international competitions such as the Blizzard Challenge and the Stanford Question Answering Dataset.

It has also set up laboratories with universities from home and abroad, including China's Tsinghua University and Zhenjiang University, as well as York University in Canada.

"We want to integrate original technologies and resources worldwide," Fu said.

People from all walks of life increasingly rely on AI technology to enhance their quality of life, he added. Developers and entrepreneurs should take advantage of the latest technological advances to achieve innovative development.

IFlytek is creating a platform to improve industries' capacity to self-supervise through data gathered by AI. As of the end of June, the platform had attracted 880,000 developers.

According to the company, iFlytek plans to set up an AI innovation research institute in Xi'an to cooperate with local universities and scientific research institutions. The plan involves building a joint laboratory and commercializing the results of scientific research to meet actual market demand.

"In the future, we hope to build the Xi'an base into a personnel training hub and take the lead in the pilot application of the latest AI technology in the city, as Xi'an is a strategic pivot for future development," Fu said.