Politically closed China keen on programmatically open AI
The Chinese news service Xinhua is reporting that that nation’s authoritarian government is promoting the use of open-source artificial intelligence to help extinguish the Covid-19 novel coronavirus.
The Xinhua article reports that Megvii Technology Ltd., developer of biometric facial recognition and deep-learning algorithms, will open MegEngine, its core deep-learning framework and part of the startup’s proprietary platform Brain++.
The top goal is, of course, to end the fear and suffering associated with the pandemic by inviting all coders to help make better disease-related tools.
And while it is hoped that the move could speed the acceptance of open-source artificial intelligence computing in China, the real impact here could be the dislodging of popular U.S.-made deep learning frameworks from the Middle Kingdom, as Google TensorFlow and Facebook’s PyTorch make up 95 percent of the market share, a Peking University professor told South China Morning Post.
Providing a pre-built optimized framework allows engineers to focus their efforts on the high-level structure of models, rather than algorithm details, Xinhua points out.
Megvii makes a fever-screening system used in a Beijing subway station. The company was blacklisted by the United States government for alleged involvement in human-rights violations of Muslims and national security concerns.
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. this week opened the source code of MindSpore, its artificial intelligence application-development framework, on GitHub and Gitee.
And global diversified technology giant Baidu Inc. opened its machine-learning framework PaddlePaddle (as in Parallel Distributed Deep Learning) in 2016. (As with Megvii, Baidu powered up a fever-spotting system in a Beijing subway station.)
Megvii’s framework is available through its website and GitHub.