Tencent AI Lab loses key executive

Chinese internet being Tencent just lost a preceding neural networks person. Zhang Tong, who previously cultivated at Yahoo, IBM and Baidu, has stepped down after targeting Tencent’s AI Lab for nearly two years.

The scientist will return to academia and continue study in the AI field, Tencent confirmed with TechCrunch on Thursday, adding that it hasn’t appointed a successor.

”We are grateful for[ Zhang ]’ s contributions to Tencent AI Lab and further explore fundamental and applied investigate that are able utter the added benefit of AI accessible to everyone, everywhere ,” Tencent said in a statement.

Zhang’s departure is the latest in a handful of top AI scientists discontinuing vast Chinese tech houses. In 2017, probe whale Baidu lost its primary scientist Andrew Ng who started Google’s deep learning initiative. Last year, the house suffered another blow as renown AI expert Lu Qi resigned as chief operating officer and moved onto pioneering Y Combinator’s newly minted China program .

Talent is key to a tech firm’s AI endeavor, for a revered leader not only motivates works but too boosts “investors “. Baidu assets plunged following Lu’s exit as marketplaces weighed on the knack divergence inside the company, which had poured resources into autonomous driving, smart orators among other AI tries. Tencent itself had poached Zhang from Baidu’s Big Data Lab to ramp up its own AI division.

Tencent is best known for its billion-user WeChat messenger and being the world’s largest video game publisher, but it’s also been double-dealing down on machine learning R& D to perform users and initiative clients. It propelled the AI Lab in April 2016 and opened its first U.S. research facility in Seattle a year later to work on discussion acceptance and natural language processing( NLP ).

The AI Lab dives into machine learning, computer dream, communication identification and NLP. Meanwhile, the social and recreation whale also works to leant fundamental research to practical use, relating AI to its key customs — material, social, online plays and cloud computing.

One beneficiary has been WeChat, which applies NLP to enable seamless talks between users speaking different languages. Another case in point is Tencent’s news aggregator Tiantian Kuaibao, which deploys deep learning to recommend material based on readers’ past preference. Kuaibao is a direct contestant to Jinri Toutiao, the favourite AI-powered news app run by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.

To date, Tencent’s AI Lab has a unit of 70 research scientists and 300 engineers, according to information on its website . Tencent operates another AI initiative “ve called the” Youtu Lab, which places emphasis on likenes agreement, face acceptance, audio acceptance and visual courage approval. While its sister AI Lab falls under Tencent’s research-focus Technology Engineering Group, Youtu is the brainchild of the Cloud& Smart Manufacture Group, a brand-new measurement that Tencent set up during its major managerial reshuffle in October to target more emphasis on firm businesses.

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