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Fostering Research and Talent Development to Drive AI-powered Applications Across Industries

Xiao-i and HKUST Launch Joint Laboratory on Machine Learning and Cognitive Reasoning

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Prof. Tim CHENG Kwang-Ting (front left), HKUST Dean of Engineering, and Mr. Arlene CHEN (front right), Xiao-i's VP and Head of Research Institute sign the agreement under the witness of Prof. Nancy IP Yuk-Yu (back left), Vice-President for Research and Development of HKUST and Dr. ZHU Pinpin (back right), Xiao-i’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Prof. Tim CHENG Kwang-Ting (front left), HKUST Dean of Engineering, and Mr. Arlene CHEN (front right), Xiao-i's VP and Head of Research Institute sign the agreement under the witness of Prof. Nancy IP Yuk-Yu (back left), Vice-President for Research and Development of HKUST and Dr. ZHU Pinpin (back right), Xiao-i’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. [Download Photo]

Shanghai Xiaoi Robot Technology Co. Ltd (“Xiao-i”), a leading developer of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and industry application platforms, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (“HKUST”) signed a framework agreement today to jointly establish the HKUST–Xiao-i Joint Laboratory on Machine Learning and Cognitive Reasoning (“Joint Lab”). The Joint Lab will conduct fundamental research in AI, with an emphasis on integrating machine learning and cognitive reasoning to build the next generation AI system with high credibility and cognitive capabilities. It will also train student talent in AI and foster research and industry collaboration so as to contribute to the societal and economic development of Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.

This is Xiao-i’s first research collaboration with a local university in Hong Kong. The Joint Lab will integrate the research strengths of the two parties, drawing on Xiao-i’s cutting-edge core technological capabilities and industry expertise, as well as HKUST’s internationally recognized and world-leading research competency in the fields of big data and AI. Both parties will leverage their own advantages to create synergy for innovative research projects and knowledge exchange, facilitating the development of AI technologies and technology transfer into a range of industries and promoting commercialization. According to the agreement, Xiao-i will provide funding support for the Joint Lab’s research projects over the next three years.

“HKUST is playing a leading role in furthering AI research around the world. We are honored to work with HKUST, globally-acclaimed scholars and research teams through the Joint Lab. Xiao-i has amassed vast quantities of industry data over the years to support our development of AI technologies in areas such as deep semantic interaction and natural language processing. Now coupled with HKUST’s remarkable research capabilities, we are confident that the Joint Lab will achieve technological breakthroughs and promote wider applications of AI technology into a broad range of industries. The Greater Bay Area will also provide an enabling ground as it develops into an international innovation and technology hub. We have every confidence in our ability to promote our research outputs and apply them across industries in the region, and eventually extend to Asia-Pacific and other global markets,” said Dr. ZHU Pinpin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Xiao-i at the launch ceremony.

“Big data and AI research aligns with HKUST’s strategic research direction. The Joint Lab offers an excellent platform that enables complementary development and collaboration, facilitating exchange among the industries, academia and research sectors, as well as promoting frontier research development and applications. The Joint Lab will also enrich our students’ knowledge on innovative technologies, laying a more solid foundation for nurturing the future talent in the areas of AI,” said Prof. Nancy IP Yuk-Yu, Vice-President for Research and Development of HKUST.

The initial research projects to be carried out under the Joint Lab include: new theories and efficient algorithms for cognitive reasoning to make more meaningful interactions with machines; new algorithms for interpretable word embeddings based on world-leading expertise on latent tree model that help improving the accuracy of dialogue systems; scalable machine learning algorithms for learning distributed representations of text documents that enables grouping of similar questions and content for appropriate responses; and more efficient end-to-end sequence-to-sequence modeling method using deep learning and attention mechanism which can offer a more natural dialogue style to users and optimize human-machine interactions.


About Xiao-i
Shanghai Xiaoi Robot Technology Co. Ltd (“Xiao-i”) develops world-class AI technologies and industry applications that revolutionize business operations. Established in Shanghai in 2001, Xiao-i is an industry pioneer, integrating its AI applications across multiple sectors. It now serves over 1,000 large businesses and government organizations in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, which use Xiao-i’s applications to serve more than 800 million users. In mainland China alone, its clientele includes 80% of the major financial institutions, the top three telecommunications providers and several government organizations. Xiao-i has become a leader in the business-to-business space and launched its Asia-Pacific Headquarters in Hong Kong in 2018. Xiao-i’s major investors include Alibaba Group, China Everbright and Haiyin Capital.

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The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ( is a world-class research university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. HKUST attained the highest proportion of internationally excellent research work in the Research Assessment Exercise 2014 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee, and is ranked as the world’s best young university in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2018. Its graduates were ranked 16th worldwide and topped in Greater China in Global University Employability Survey 2018.