SJTU, YITU and ThinkForce Built Joint Lab of Visual Computing and Application

Time : Dec 19 , 2017

(News Source: On December 19, 2017, SJTU announced the Joint Lab of Visual Computing and Application with AI leading enterprise YITU and AI chip company ThinkForce. The signing ceremony was held in the Xuhui campus of SJTU. Vice president Wu Dan of SJTU, Zhang Ying, chief engineer of Shanghai Economic and Information Committee, vice governor Chen Shiyan of Xuhui District people's government, director Zhao Ce of high technology department of the Ministry of Technology, as well as representatives from China information and Communication Research Institute, China AI Industry Development Alliance, Tsinghua University, Shanghai Electric Power, China Telecom, China Electronic Information Industry Federation, Shanghai Software Industry Association and other industry and academia were present. Wang Yanfeng, vice president of SJTU, Wu Min, vice president of business technology of YITU and Zhang Zhenning, VP marketing of ThinkForce, signed the contract for the three parties.

YITU and ThinkForce are the leading enterprises in the field of face recognition and AI in China. Lin Chenxi, co-founder of YITU, graduated from SJTU. In 2002, he won the first championship of the ACM Global College Program Competition Final representing SJTU. The leading R&D team members of ThinkForce are also made up of SJTU alumni. STJU-ThinkForce Joint Lab of Visual Computing and Application will mainly study how to efficiently capture, process and understand image and video data, combine biometric identification and video understanding technology with advanced isomeric computing architecture chips, and promote academic research and talent cultivation in related fields. Meanwhile they will apply the technology into many fields such as smart city, smart commerce, smart medical treatment and smart finance, thus promoting the deep integration of AIand real economy.

At the signing ceremony, vice president Wu Dan of SJTU said STJU had been devoted to the field of world computing and AI in need of China and Shanghai. Through the establishment of a joint laboratory, SJTU could combine its own frontier research with leading enterprises and innovative small and medium enterprises, which helped to build a good industrial ecology together. After learning that many alumni had become the backbone of YITU and ThinkForce, Wu said it was his pleasant to see many of the outstanding alumni of SJTU had been active in all the well-known enterprises in the field of AI. He welcomed the collaboration between enterprises founded by alumni and SJTU.

Dr. Zhu Long, co-founder of YITU said, in the era of AI, the United States and China would become a dual engine of innovation, and China had some advantages in talent, market and data . In addition, China had such world-class markets as medical health, urban security, AI chips and AI pharmaceuticals, which were also the business goals of YITU and ThinkForce.

Zhang Zhenning, VP marketing of ThinkForce said, there were many innovative algorithms in the field of visual computing, which generated lots of computing to be met with innovative heterogeneous parallel computing architectures. The ManyCore computing structure proposed by ThinkForce could be used on FPGA/ASIC. With the TFDL compiler and driver software, the NN models of researchers on Caffe and TensorFlow platforms could be seamlessly transplanted to AI chips. The cutting-edge study and algorithm research would be very helpful for us to plan the subsequent computing architecture and NN chip product line.

The establishment of the joint laboratory was strongly supported by Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization and the Xuhui District government. At the signing ceremony, Zhang Ying, the chief engineer of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization said, in order to implement the national New Generation of AI Development Plan, fully support the construction of the scientific and technological innovation center with global influence in Shanghai, Shanghai had attached great importance to the research and development of advanced technology in the field of AI and industrialization work. The Implementation of the New Generation of AI had just been put forward. It was anticipated that the establishment of the joint laboratory could become an example of the cooperation in the field of AI, whose scientific research results could be realized in life  for the benefit of the people.  

Chen Shiyan, vice governor of Xuhui District, said that the Xuhui District government also vigorously promoted the construction of science and technology, actively promoted the cooperation of production, study and research, and planned the innovation layout. At the same time, Xuhui District was selected as the second batch of "double creation" demonstration base, striving to become an important bearing area of Shanghai science and technology center, and an artificial intelligent industrial agglomeration area with global influence.

One of the founders of global artificial intelligence computer vision, Professor Alan L.Yuille, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Zhu Long's mentor who was conducting academic exchanges in SJTU said that China's research and industrialization in the field of artificial intelligence had developed rapidly under the government's push, and some areas were already in the forefront of the world. The close exchanges and cooperation between China and the United States in academia and industry would help the global AI industry develop more rapidly and healthfully.

Contribution: Hui Hui, Zhu Yingying

Photography: Yitu