On October 11th, the 2017 Yunqi Computing Conference has been held in Hangzhou according to the schedule. This year the conference explores intelligence. Aliyun’s president Hu Xiaoming had previously revealed on press conference that this year’s theme for the conference would be intelligence as data will become the most important resource in the future. Aliyun will pour in a large amount of investment to build up R&D resources to help governments, enterprises, and developers to use our tools and generate more values from data.
Alibaba Group announced on the stage of the computing conference the establishment of DAMO Academy, short for “Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook,” which will set up research and development labs around the world for fundamental science and disruptive innovation researches. DAMO Academy will attract an employ 100 top scientists and researchers according to its initial plan. Alibaba had announced to pour in a total amount of investment of over ￥100 billion for DAMO Academy.
On the conference stage, Jack Ma talked about the very reason why Alibaba didn’t establish any R&D institution ten years ago——survival——which was the main drive for Alibaba at that time. However, Alibaba has decided that it’s time to set up its very own R&D institution now. Even the project’s name was decided only two weeks ago by Jack Ma. “DAMO will grow on you. You will get used to it,” Jack Ma said, laughing on stage.
Jack Ma sets three principles for DAMO Academy: The academy must live longer than Alibaba, serve the entire world, and solve problems that could occur in the future for the whole mankind. “DAMO Academy is not a research institution within the Alibaba system. It belongs to China and owned by this world,” Jack Ma said.
DAMO Academy’s academic consulting committee announced at the conference, has ten people, including top AI expert Michael I. Jordan, distributed computation scientist Li Kai, Human Genome Project’s director George M. Church etc. The institution will be conducting research on several areas like quantum computing, machine learning, visual computing, natural language processing, human-computer natural interaction, chip tech, sensory technology, and embedded system etc.
Besides announcing the establishment of DAMO Academy, Jack Ma once again talked about Alibaba’s focus on data. “Data will be production information, and the Internet will be the new production relations,” Ma stated. It’s evident that data resource has become the highest priority for Alibaba, which is further elaborated from different perspectives by Hu Xiaoming and Wang Jian in later speeches.
Additionally, Yunqi Computing Conference’s organizing director Song Jie introduced that this year 45,000 users had signed up for the conference, 48% of which were born in the 80s, 32% born in the 90s, and with 24.2% being female, which is the highest number in history. Clients from over 67 countries have participated in this year’s conference. Participants from the UK are the majority of the foreign participant group.
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Translated by Garrett Lee (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.