27 February, 2017

BDI Seminar Gives Industry’s Angle on Big Data and AI

Big Data Institute (BDI) Seminar Series on Big Data and Smart Cities came back with its second monthly talk on “From Big Data to AI: An Industrial Perspective”, hosted by Dr. Hongjiang Zhang, recently retired last December from his former role of Executive Director and CEO of Kingsoft Group for five years.
The talk first reviewed the driving forces, big data, computing power and new algorithms, behind the breakthrough in artificial intelligence in recent years, and illustrated the importance of big data. Dr. Zhang then showcased a couple of scenarios where big data drives the significant breakthrough in image analysis and object recognition. He also went on discussing the future directions and areas of applications that could lead to breakthrough in the coming years, in particular the tremendous growth in China and its potential to lead the big data area.

Besides giving a talk, Dr. Zhang also saw some students’ demonstration and gave comments to them and exchanged views and comments with academics in different occasions, including with Prof Tim Cheng, Dean of Engineering, HKUST.

An experienced veteran of the industry, Dr. Zhang has led Kingsoft, a Hong Kong listed public company, from November 2011 to November 2016 as their Executive Director and the chief executive officer, while concurrently being the director of Kingsoft Cloud, NYSE listed Cheetah Mobile, as well as NASDAQ listed Xunlei Ltd and 21 Vianet Group Inc. Before Kingsoft, Dr. Zhang was the chief technology officer for Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group and managing director of the Microsoft Advanced Technology Center, leading Microsoft's research and setting development agenda in China. He was also an assistant managing director of Microsoft Research Asia which he co-founded. His outstanding leadership and achievements in both academia and business arenas earn him one of the 10 Microsoft Distinguished Scientists. Dr. Zhang is a Fellow of IEEE and ACM, known for his media computing, video and image content analysis and search, receiving the 2010 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award, 2012 ACM SIGMM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, and 2008 "Asian-American Engineer of the Year" award. Holding close to 200 US and international patents, he has authored four books and over 400 scientific papers, many become classic references and are heavily sited.
Dr. Zhang has left global footprints from studies to research and career spanning the decades. He completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark, and got his Science Bachelor degree from Zhengzhou University, China. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a research manager at Hewlett-Packard Labs at Palo Alto, California, USA. He also worked at the Institute of Systems Science, National University of Singapore.