Next gen robotics, artificial intelligence, and education informatization: The future is at TechCrunch Hangzhou

From Chinese professional Go player Ke Jie and Go-playing computer program AlphaGo’s man vs. machine battle, to social humanoid robot Sophia and iPhone X’s facial recognition unlock feature, artificial intelligence has become part of a wider national security strategy. If it is said that 2017 was the year AI took off, then 2018 is the year it lands deep into all walks of life and redefines the world in which we live.

The future has arrived: this is an era of big data and artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence, a subversive and strategic technology with the potential to lead the future, has become the new focus on the international stage. To win the race for AI, we must first understand this new era, sometimes referred to as the Age of Intelligent Machines. Leadership requires creativity, wisdom, and courage, to forge a path for those who follow. At the upcoming TechCrunch International Innovation Summit, leaders in the field of AI will gather to explore the changes that AI will bring to the world.

Ma Jianjun

Deputy General Manager and Secretary Board of Directors, Ecovacs Robotics

In June 1999, Ma Jianjun graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Antai College of Economics and Management. In June 2007, he graduated from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. From July 2007 to March 2016, he served as Senior Manager of Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Investment Banking Department and Vice President of Credit Suisse Founder Securities Ltd. Investment Banking Division, as well as Executive Director of Technology, Media, and Telecommunications of the Corporate Finance Department. From April 2016 to present, he has been serving as the CFO, Deputy General Manager and Secretary Board of Directors of Ecovacs Robotics. He is currently developing the company’s plan to raise RMB 750 million to build a new base and upgrade its home service robot capabilities.

Next generation home robotics

July 2nd, 13:00 – 13:25

The application of artificial intelligence technology has reached new heights. Home service robots, for example, create a much larger market than you might imagine. According to the International Federation of Robotics, the total sales of global home service robots in 2017-2020 are expected to reach $21.9 billion. Ecovacs Robotics is already dominating the domestic home service robot market, with an online market share of 48.8% in 2017.

According to reports from Chinese venture and technology-focused media platform iyiou, in the current market for sweeping robots, large home appliance brands such as Philips, Haier, Midea, and Panasonic, as well as iRobot and Xiaomi, have become powerful contenders. On May 28, Ecovas Robotics officially listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, positioning it not only as the first service robot to be listed but also as the absolute leading service robot company in the domestic market. At TechCrunch Hangzhou, Ma Jianjun will be talking about the next generation of home robotics.

Eric Wong

Co-founder and CFO, Rokid

Rokid is a robotics company specializing in the development of artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Eric Wong is also an Independent Non-executive Director of the Nomination Committee and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed company Kingsoft. Prior to joining Rokid, Eric Wong was the Executive Director and CFO of Kingsoft, Vice President of Corporate Finance at Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., and CFO of Goodbaby International Holdings Ltd. He has extensive experience in financial monitoring, operations, strategic planning and execution, and private equity investment and exit strategies. Under his direction, Rokid completed a new round of significant funding led by Temasek, Credit Suisse, and IDG.

Artificial Intelligence OS

July 2nd 15:40 – 16:05

The robotics industry requires long-term investment. Although there was an artificial intelligence boom before this time, the breakthrough of AI was driven even further by pure technology. Currently, Rokid’s independent R&D has fully realized the leading advantages in technology at home and abroad. The company focuses on independent research and development on core technologies such as a microphone, audio and speech technology, and semantic recognition. At TechCrunch Hangzhou, Eric Wong will share his interpretation of how to use AI to enhance user experience.

Xue Guirong

Founder and CEO, Tianrang Inc.

Xue Guirong received his Ph.D. from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where he focused his research on artificial intelligence, search engine, distributed computing and transfer learning. He served as head of Alibaba Group subsidiary Alimama’s big data center, as well as Alimama’s chief data scientist, where he was responsible for the development of Ali search engine, data management platform, and marketing technology platform. He is a member of the Cloud Computing Expert Group of the Ministry of Science and Technology, KDD China Branch, CCF Artificial Intelligence Committee, and CCF Big Data Special Committee. He has more than 10 patents and has published more than 70 papers for top international conferences and periodicals.

The past, the present and the future of AI Go

July 2nd 15:40 – 16:05

Since the man vs. machine battle between Ke Jie and AlphaGo in 2017, whether or not human beings can defeat artificial intelligence has been a hot topic of discussion. Although Ke Jie came close to outsmarting the computer program, AlphaGo won 3-0. After the game, AlphaGo’s creator, Demis Hassabis, announced its retirement. Ke Jie, on the other hand, wasn’t done with AI. In April, he took up another challenge, this time with Tianrong. It’s apparent that he’s not the only one interested in experiencing game playing with AI, as the numb ofer people who took to playing the game online with Tianrong skyrocketed. In January, a total of 3,300 Go matches were played online, of which Tianrong won 2,790, or 85%. At TechCrunch Hangzhou, Xue Guirong will talk about the future of Tianrong, the development of its predictability model and reduction of the system’s required computational power.

Zhang Liming

Co-founder and COO, 51Talk

Born in Shanghai in 1970, Zhang Liming graduated from Shanghai Normal University and later received an MBA from the University of Hull in the UK. He was co-founder and former Vice President of Wall Street English. He also served as a member of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Political Consultative Conference, and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Industry and Commerce. In 2014, he co-founded 51Talk and became its COO. By December 2017, 51Talk was recognized as a leading online English education platform with a total of 176,600 active students and 14,800 foreign teachers. On June 10, 2016, Zhang Liming and 51Talk co-founder and CEO Huang Jiajia listed the company on the New York Stock Exchange, and 51Talk became the first Chinese company to go public in the United States.

New technology engines for education

July 3rd 14:45 – 15:10

While the infrastructure of education informatization is still being developed, “Internet +” and education exist in a state of catalytic fusion with one another, in which artificial intelligence, as the higher stage of development in information technology, will further reform education and teaching. Finding solutions to better meet the demands of education with the application of big data, artificial intelligence and other high-tech services has become crucial. 51Talk has always attached great importance to technology research and development, holding fast the view that integrating artificial intelligence technology into online education can help users achieve “interesting and effective” results. Currently, 51Talk’s AI technology has been commercialized and includes face detection, expression recognition, image matting, noise reduction, speed detection and voice identification. 51Talk is China’s first U.S. listing for online education and a leader in the EdTech sector. At TechCrunch Hangzhou, Zhang Liming will talk about how AI and blockchain provide new technology engines to online education.

Wu Tao

Vice President and Head of IoT division, Sogou

In 2011, Wu Tao served as General Manager of Sogou’s User Platform Business Unit and was responsible for maps, website navigation and games development. At the end of 2014, he launched Sogou’s GPS Smart Positioning Child Phone Watch “Sugar Cat,” positioning himself as a pioneer of Sogou’s advancement into the smart devices and hardware market. In 2017, he became head of Sogou’s IoT division, where he led Sogou’s hardware research and development, integrated Sogou’s AI technology into hardware products, and in 2018 led the IoT division to launch two major AI strategic hardware: Sogou Travel Translator and Sogou Multilingual Recording Translation Pen. Wu Yan helped drive Sogou’s AI competencies, and last year the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, raising about $585 million.

The future of AI is hardware

 July 3rd 15:35 – 16:00

After algorithms and machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing, the next phase of the AI arms race will focus on core hardware technology. Currently, Sogou’s AI is centered around language, mainly focused on auditory and visual cognition. Sogou develops software and hardware that enables AI technology to be integrated into everyone’s lives, with use cases such as translation, Q&A, and auxiliary dialogue. In 2017, Sogou successfully went public in the U.S., becoming “China’s first U.S.-listed AI stock.” With language processing at its core, Sogou has successively applied self-developed AI technology and input methods to improve the Sogou search engine. At TechCrunch Hangzhou, Wu Tao will talk about Sogou’s developments in AI hardware and the importance of opening up globally.