Avatar Mountain, Zhangjiajie, China — photo by @robynnexy

Chinese AI company Yitu and COVID-19

Artificial intelligence to help addressing the Coronavirus in China

Yitu is a company that develops AI software and hardware based in Shanghai.

In 2017 Yitu employed around 300 people and this year that has grown to 1,000 employees according to a recent article published the 21st of April about one of their most recent recruits. It focuses heavily on recruiting talent from top universities, and the is run by two talented computer scientists.

It seems one of the core aspects of the company is being at the forefront of international AI competitions and talent. This may be partly explained by the story of the co-founders.

Leo Zhu, co-founded YITU Technology in 2012.

Zhu received his PhD in Statistics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2008.

He was specialising in statistical modeling of computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI).

Zhu was a post-doctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) AI laboratory from 2008 to 2010.

Then he worked with Yann Lecun at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University from 2010 to 2012.

At the time Zhu led a team to win the championship of the PASCAL Visual Object Classes Challenge.

LIN Chenxi was a senior expert at Alibaba Cloud from 2008 to 2012.

There he built and led a team of more than a hundred senior engineers to build the Apsara operating system, the largest proprietary distributed cloud computing OS in China.

He worked at Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) prior to this conducting research in machine learning, computer vision, information retrieval and distributed systems.

He was captain of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University team in 2002 for the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC) that became the first-ever Asian team to win.

There are a few pointers to the history of Yitu on their website.

The company was founded in 2012, yet it would take a few years before the large deals.

In 2015 China Merchant’s Bank adopted facial recognition technology at 1,500 stores.

The same year they worked with Alibaba Cloud on transportation management.

In 2016 they say that their technology can identify 1 billion faces within one second.

Then China Merchant’s Bank adopted their technology at all ATM.

This was also the year they launched their first product in a few of the top-ranked hospitals.

In 2017 they established R&D in Singapore.

They invested in AI chip maker ThinkForce, AI pharmaceutical AccutarBio.

Within this year they won several prizes and launched care.ai product series.

In 2018 they launched a platform for speech recognition, raised a new series of funding and won several high-profile awards.

It is important to note that they launched the world’s first intelligent disease system for clinical research in lung cancer.

In 2019 they launched their first AI cloud inference chip.

In March 2020 they built on their experience from the previous years to launch an AI Powered Intelligent Evaluation System of Chest CT for COVID-19.

So this technology really does make a life-saving difference.

“YITU’s Intelligent Evaluation System of Chest CT for COVID-19 has been adopted across 25 provinces and municipal autonomous prefectures in 100 medical institutions and served over 100,000 person-times in China by far.”

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 326. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days. My focus for day 300–400 is about AI, hardware and the climate crisis.

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau

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