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Hangzhou, China, September 19, 2018 – Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) laid out its development roadmap for frontier technologies, including quantum computing and AI chips, on the opening day of The Computing Conference 2018. The conference, which is being attended by technology leaders, experts and industry luminaries, is scheduled for four days through September 22 at Alibaba’s home base of Hangzhou.
Alibaba DAMO Academy (“Academy”), a global initiative by Alibaba to lead technology and science research, unveiled plans to develop disruptive technologies over the next five years. The technologies are developed to support the firm’s rapidly growing cloud and IoT businesses, as well as to explore new commercial applications in various industries – from logistics, materials to pharmaceuticals – that require greater computing power to achieve technology breakthrough:
During the conference, Alibaba also announced the establishment of a chip company, a subsidiary under Alibaba Group that will focus on customized AI chips and embedded processors to further support Alibaba’s growing cloud and IoT businesses as well as to provide intelligent solutions for different industries.
“Alibaba has been a leading technology innovator in cloud computing and artificial intelligence since we announced our determination to transform into a technology powerhouse two years ago,” said Jeff Zhang, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba Group. “The establishment of Alibaba DAMO Academy and its achievements over the past year underlies our strong commitment to technology leadership. Moving ahead, we are confident that our advantages in algorithm, data intelligence, computing power and domain knowledge on the back of Alibaba’s diverse ecosystem will put us at a unique position to lead real technology breakthroughs in disruptive areas, such as quantum and chip technology.”
Alibaba DAMO Academy has over 300 researchers worldwide since its launch, focusing on five major areas including machine intelligence, robotics, fintech, data computing and quantum computing. Global partners of the Academy include renowned academic institutes such as University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University and The Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In the past year, the Academy released Taizhang, a quantum-circuit simulator leveraging Alibaba’s powerful classical computing infrastructure, which has successfully simulated a significantly more complicated family of quantum circuits than previously achieved. The milestone was an important step in the field and has raised new discussions around the boundaries of "quantum supremacy", where a quantum-computing device may be considered exceeding the capability of all classical computers. An extended version of Taizhang will soon be released as a tool for both hardware and application development.
The Academy also programmed an ultra-low latency and high performance DLP (deep learning processor) on FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array), as an effort to balance the low latency and high performance requirements for tasks such as image recognition and analysis.
Alibaba also announced “Alibaba Global Mathematics Competition,” a global math competition to discover and nurture next-generation math geniuses and raise awareness about the importance of this critical subject. Leading mathematicians, including Yurii Nesterov, Professor at Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium; Frank Kelly, Professor at University of Cambridge; Gang Tian, Distinguished Professor at Peking University; Jianshu Li, Chair Professor at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; and Yitang Zhang, Professor at University of California, Santa Barbara will mentor select students from the competition. In addition, the Academy offered nine excellent young science researchers with “2018 DAMO Academy Young Fellow” award during the conference.
For more information about the Academy, please refer to the official website: https://damo.alibaba.com.
For the announcements and talks from The Cloud Computing Conference 2018, please refer to the Alizila page: https://www.alizila.com/the-computing-conference-2018-media-resources
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere, and the company aims to achieve sustainable growth for 102 years. For the fiscal year ended March 2018, the company reported revenues of US$39.9 billion.
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