January 23, 2017

Ant Financial delegation visit and seminar

A delegation of four from Ant Financial under Alibaba Group, one of the biggest AI-driven TechFin companies in China running on the basis of credits, and is committed to providing inclusive financial services to over two million people around the world, visited HKUST on Monday, 23 January 2017 to discuss possible collaborations with BDI faculty members and sharing with students and academics alike their insights on AI in the TechFin industry.

Dr. Xiaolong Li, Director of Engineering in AI department of Ant Financial, gave a talk in the morning to the crowd exploring the prospect of AI in TechFin, the company’s technical strategy with case studies, and the challenges and opportunities that Ant Financial faces in the TechFin arena.

Dr. Li obtained his PhD in Computer Science majoring in Speech Recognition from University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously worked in Microsoft headquarter in Seattle for almost 9 years, with different teams including Incubation team, Microsoft Research and finally Bing Search, and was a Principal Research Software Development Engineer Lead in Bing's Query Understanding team, Core Relevance Group. After joining Ant Financial Group in 2014, he has led a multi-national group from Seattle, Silicon Valley, Beijing and Hangzhou, and built a large scale distributed machine learning system called Parameter Server, which won the first place of Alibaba's Best Algorithm Platform Awards in 2015. His vivid shares in the talk evoked rigorous discussion in the question-answer section.

The delegates were then shown the demo from Dr Jun Ouyang for his project of big data platform for smart transportation applications with heterogeneous data sources and speech recognition demo from Dr Anik Dey of Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering.

They then met with Prof Qiang Yang, Prof Yangqiu Song and Prof Nevin Zhang and students from the Department of Computer Science and Technology for any possible collaborative models with their company.