China has been widely tipped to take the lead in artificial technology so when Imagination travelled to Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing in June this year to lead seminars on AI, they were well received by our industry-leading partners and customers in China. Russell James, Vice President of Vision & AI, spoke at the seminars, fresh off the back of the PowerVR Vision & AI team enjoying success at the UK National Technology Awards for its work on the PowerVR Series 2NX neural network accelerator.
The event in Shenzhen on 4th June is home to Chinese tech giants such as Huawei and Tencent, making it the ideal location to discuss how AI can be used to improve consumer products and edge devices. After an introductory talk from Richard Zhang, CEO of leading Chinese technology publication EETrend, two keynote talks were given by representatives from Allwinner and SenseTime. Allwinner’s Jianwen Li spoke about the rapid increase in the last few years of AI’s application into consumer electronics with real-time camera filters for smartphones, speech recognition for home assistants and speedy photo searching just a few of the examples mentioned.
The SenseTime talk, meanwhile, focused on the subject of computer vision – the challenge of how to make machines “see”. Already very successful with their facial recognition and smart-security technology SenseTime spoke about its intentions to expand into the automotive industry by developing object-detection AI systems for self-driving cars.
Shanghai, on 6th June, was the second of our Artificial Intelligence Seminars. It featured talks from Chinese semiconductor companies Spreadtrum and Artosyn. Bowen Ke, Imagination’s Director of Regional Marketing and Business Development and Sales for China, also gave a speech in which he discussed the importance of partnership and collaboration for the AI industry. He spoke about how, by working closely with our partners all across the world, we at Imagination do our utmost to speed up AI technology’s time-to-market, so that the most revolutionary and innovative technology can reach consumers as quickly as possible.
And speaking of the latest technology at the final AI seminar in Beijing on 8th June we announced the launch of two new NNAs (neural network accelerators). These new cores – the AX2145 and AX2185 – are the latest additions to our PowerVR Series2NX. They offer high-performance neural network acceleration for edge devices like smart cameras and mobile phones, which helps them to keep up with the computationally intensive tasks required by AI (check out this blog post for a more in-depth explanation). Our VP of PowerVR Vision & AI Russell James was at the event to announce the launch and answer questions.
Russell James, Vice President of Vision & AI speaks at an Imagination seminar on AI in China.
Presentations were also given by facial recognition platform Face++ as well as the intelligent robot designers ROOBO. With numerous other OEMs, SoCs manufacturers and AI product companies in attendance, as well as Chinese journalists and media, the Beijing AI Seminar brought together the diverse and wide-ranging sections of the AI ecosystem.
To read more about AI-powered computer vision check out our interview with PowerVR Vision & AI’s Paul Brasnett, who answers questions on autonomous cars, AIs-training-other-AIs and the future of mankind.
Whether China will dominate in the race for AI is something we’ll have to wait and see to find out, but there are certainly many companies doing innovative work there, and judging from buzz from our recent seminars it will certainly be interesting times ahead for the AI field.