Biz / Tech

Shanghai's Xiao'i Robot ramps up human-machine dialogue tech

Shanghai-based AI firm Xiao'i Robot is aiming for 500 million yuan of income and 100 million yuan of profit this year, seeking to offer more industry solutions through partnership. 

Shanghai-based artificial intelligence company Xiao'i Robot Technology has released a number of industry solutions for human-machine dialogue interfaces as the city encourages the development of AI industries and invites leading industry players’ participation.

It also entered into partnerships with robot manufacturers such as Pepper, Ina, and Nao to apply its iBot operation system in commercial services, education, medical services and entertainment.

It aims for 500 million yuan (US$79.4 million) of revenue and 100 million yuan profit this year. Last year government-related projects contributed about 20 percent of its revenue, Chief Executive Officer Zhu Pinpin told a press conference in Shanghai.

Smart urban management and smart customer service systems will contribute the majority of its income this year, Zhu said.

Currently, its artificial intelligence language recognition system has been adopted by more than 1,000 customers in over 50 industry sectors and is serving more than 800 million end users.

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"We are aiming to become a leading open technology platform for artificial intelligence applications to enter an industrialization stage," Zhu added. Its developer platform iBot Cloud currently links 100,000 third party developers.

Globalization is also its key strategy as it seeks to offer a multi-language service on top of its existing English platform by the end of this year.

Shanghai is hoping to leverage its advantage in artificial intelligence relevant sectors such as connected cars, smart manufacturing and medical image recognition.

The Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology plans to create an AI fund worth more than 100 billion yuan and is inviting public participation, while also aiming to build 10 public platforms for AI innovation, create 60 AI applications and gradually open government-owned data for industry participants.

Research firm Gartner estimate global business value derived from artificial intelligence will reach a total of US$1.2 trillion in 2018, an increase of 70 percent from 2017, and AI-derived business value is forecast to reach US$3.9 trillion in 2022.

Total sales revenue of household and personal service robots is forecast to grow at an annual average of 23.5 percent through 2020, thanks to wider awareness and acceptance of robotics applications, increasing costs for human service labor, and continuous technological advancement.

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