SINGAPORE: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba on Feb 28 opened an artificial intelligence research institute in Singapore in partnership with a local university, as the battle to develop AI technology heats up.
The institute, a tie-up with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), is Alibaba's first joint research center outside mainland China. It aims to develop cutting-edge AI technologies in areas such as elderly care and urban transport.
The institute will carry out research on artificial intelligence technologies for the initial five years, starting with a pool of 50 researchers from both organizations.
Alibaba chief technology officer Jeff Zhang said the Singapore venture was part of the research and development efforts of Alibaba's DAMO Academy, which was launched last year.
A focus on the technology will be on the technologies to help in caring for the elderly, including developing robot companions to stay at home.
“Using AI technologies, we can address fundamental societal challenges such as an aging population,” said NTU president Subra Suresh.
Singapore, a city-state of 5.6 million people, has a rapidly growing population.
There is a strong competition among leading companies in the area of artificial intelligence, with Google, Microsoft and Amazon, scrambling to develop new software and technologies. – AFP