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SenseTime’s CEO, Xu Li, took the stage on Monday 10/04 to demonstrate the company’s advanced AI model, SenseNova, and a user-oriented chatbot called SenseChat, which told a story about a cat fishing, complete with multiple rounds of questions and answers. He then demonstrated how the bot could assist with computer code writing, taking simple level questions in English or Chinese and translating them into a viable product. China is in a race against ChatGPT.

Xu stated that currently, human programmers do around 80% of the work in AI development, but in the future, it will shift so that AI can handle 80% of the effort while humans assume the remaining 20% of work to direct and polish. The AI model can also assist with verifying, translating, and reviewing code.

Hong Kong-based AI company SenseTime develops facial recognition technology, image recognition, object detection, optical character recognition, medical image analysis, video analysis, autonomous driving, and remote detection technologies.

SenseTime was co-founded in October 2014 by Tang Xiao’ou, a professor at the Information Engineering Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and computer scientist Xu Li, among others.

Since 2019, SenseTime has faced repeated sanctions from the US government because its facial recognition technology has been used in surveillance and internment of Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities. SenseTime denies the allegations. China Internet Investment Fund, a state-owned enterprise controlled by the Cyberspace Administration of China, has a stake in SenseTime. But there’s more:

Baidu, the “Chinese Google,” unveiled its ERNIE Bot in March, its take on artificial intelligence. On Tuesday, April 11th, Alibaba introduced its Tongyi Qianwen (in Mandarin, something like “truth, from a thousand questions”), which will integrate into Alibaba’s digital ecosystem applications, with pilot tests on DingTalk – the Chinese equivalent of Slack – and on its Tmall Genie voice assistant – similar to Amazon’s Alexa. This AI “can respond to text requests in both English and Chinese” and will help “corporate users carry out tasks from draft business proposals to report corrections,” the group explained in a note published on its corporate news portal.