SenseTime to help build new Malaysia AI hub for speech recognition development

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has approved the construction of a $1 billion artificial intelligence hub in the country in partnership with SenseTime to help local tech companies develop robots and speech recognition, Quartz reports.

G3 Global Berhad and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) will also participate in the project, which shows the adaptation of China’s Belt and Road policy after Mohamad suspended deals with up to $20 billion last year, according to Quartz. The deal reportedly involves a “package” of incentives for Malaysia, including technology transfer.

China has sought to reassure developing countries of the value of participating in its global development project after Sri Lanka ceded control of a huge port to a Chinese company to escape a crippling debt. Other Belt and Road initiatives have included a cooperative project in Zimbabwe to build a smart financial services network with facial biometrics from CloudWalk.

SenseTime will provide expertise and support to G3’s efforts to move from manufacturing jeans to AI. The companies will also develop technology for national security, surveillance, immigration, and border security, according to the report.

Malaysian police also reached a deal to acquire facial recognition technology from Yitu last year, which will be deployed by Malaysian partner Build Technology Converge.

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