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Chinese internet giant Tencent opens artificial intelligence lab in Seattle

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Julian Dunkelberger
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p Chinese tech titan Tencent has announced that it’s opening a new artificial intelligence (AI) lab in Seattle, with speech recognition expert Dr. Yu Dong, formerly a principal researcher at Microsoft’s Speech and Dialog Group, leading the initiative.

/p p The new lab, which was first rumored last month, will focus on both “fundamental research and practical application of artificial intelligence,” according to a statement issued by the company, and will push to develop AI’s “understanding, decision-making and creativity,” while supporting Tencent’s AI efforts across its range of businesses, which include gaming and social media.

/p p Tencent first launched an AI lab in Shenzhen, China last April, with a focus on machine learning, computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing (NLP).

According to the company, a number of its products already use technology created in the lab — including its wildly popular WeChat messaging app.

The Seattle AI hub will focus more on speech recognition and NLP.

/p p “We hope that AI Lab will become more than a laboratory, but a connector,” explained Tencent’s Dr. Zhang Tong, who will serve as the lab’s executive director.

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