China’s SenseTime, MIT Launch Artificial Intelligence Alliance

Chinese tech company SenseTime has joined with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ("MIT") in an "alliance" to promote understanding and application of artificial intelligence.

SenseTime was founded by MIT graduate Xiao’ou Tang and specializes in computer vision and deep learning technologies. The company is valued at around US$3 billion and is listed on China Money Network’s Unicorn ranking.

The MIT-SenseTime Alliance on Artificial Intelligence will be tasked with promoting AI across different fields at MIT in areas such as computer vision, human-intelligence-inspired algorithms, medical imaging, and robotics, MIT said in an announcement.

SenseTime is the first company to join the MIT Intelligence Quest, an initiative launched earlier this month. The MIT Intelligence Quest seeks to advance research into human and machine intelligence and apply AI to fields ranging from materials design to finance to early disease diagnosis, while also considering the economic, cultural, and ethical implications of AI.

"As an MIT alumnus, I’m grateful to have this opportunity to collaborate with my alma mater, especially to advance research on artificial intelligence,” says Tang, who is also a professor of information engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “SenseTime is committed to innovating in the fields of computer vision and deep learning. With the creation of the MIT-SenseTime Alliance on Artificial Intelligence, I’m confident that we will bring together the world’s best and brightest talent to further advance the state of the art for AI to the benefit of society.”

While at MIT, Tang conducted PhD research in underwater robotics and computer vision, applying computer vision to the study and classification of underwater imagery.

“I am thrilled that SenseTime has chosen to join us as we embark on our quest to achieve a deeper understanding of the science and engineering of intelligence and to harness that understanding to create a better world," said Anantha P. Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering. "The MIT-SenseTime Alliance on Artificial Intelligence will facilitate boundary-pushing research in intelligence across the Institute and give faculty and students opportunities to unlock new thinking through intense collaboration.”

SenseTime developed proprietary deep learning platforms and applications for industry. The company has applied its core computer vision technologies, including face recognition, video analysis, text recognition, and autonomous driving, across industries such as automobile, finance, mobile Internet, robotics, security, and smartphones.

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