E-commerce giant Alibaba and facial recognition specalist SenseTime joined forces with Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP) to establish an artificial intelligence (AI) lab in Hong Kong as a not-for-profit initiative.
HKAI Lab, which will be funded by Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and SenseTime, will launch a six-month accelerator programme in September to nurture AI start-ups in the city.
In a statement, Joseph Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba (pictured, front row, left of centre), said the collaboration will boost Hong Kong’s AI capabilities and its broader technology profile: “We envision the Hong Kong AI Lab to be an open platform where researchers, start-ups and industry participants can collaborate and build a culture of innovation.”
Tang Xiaoou, founder of SenseTime (pictured, front row, right of centre), said: “The lab will serve as a platform to bridge the academia and the industry, apply AI technologies to traditional industries, and promote broader collaboration between Hong Kong and the mainland.”
The accelerator programme will offer two intakes per year, providing funding and resources to about ten start-up applicants in each class. It will begin accepting applications in mid-June.
Participants will have access to SenseTime’s deep learning platform and AI software, along with machine learning platform, IT support and high-performance computing resources from Alibaba Cloud.
Successful candidates will receive seed funding of $100,000 from Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund in exchange for 6 per cent equity.