Turing Award Winner Andrew Yao Joins Chinese Facial Recognition Firm Face++

Chinese facial recognition start-up Face++ has announced that Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, the first Chinese recipient of the Turing Award, will join the firm’s newly established academic committee as principal advisor. 

The Turing Award is an annual prize given by the Association for Computing Machinery, and is recognized as the highest distinction in computer science, or the "Nobel Prize of computing." Yao received the award in 2000, "in recognition of his fundamental contributions to the theory of computation, including the complexity-based theory of pseudorandom number generation, cryptography, and communication complexity."

Face++, operated by Megvii Inc and Beijing Kuangshi Technology Co., Ltd., provides face-scanning systems and identity recognition solutions to clients include Ant Financial, China Merchant Bank, Vanke, Lenovo and Didi Chuxing.

"We have encountered some clear and basic questions that need better theoretical frameworks," said Qi Yin, Co-founder and CEO at Megvii (Face++), explaining why the company set up the academic committee at a seminar on Nov. 5. "Also, as a leader in our industry, we have the responsibility to discover some fundamental innovations and find a better model to combine theory and practice."

Yao has has a long-standing relationship with the senior management of Face+++, having taught all three founders of the company, Qi Yin, Wenbin Tang and Mu Yang as a professor of computer science at Tsinghua University.

Founded in 2011, Face++ raised US$460 million last week in a series C round led by China State-Owned Assets Venture Investment Fund, with Ant Financial and Foxconn Technology Group participating.

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