Chinese Video Surveillance Giant Hikvision to Opensource its AI Technology

At 2018 AI Cloud Ecological International Summit in Hangzhou on Mar. 28, global video surveillance manufacturing leader Hikvision announced it would open access to its AI technology, notably AI Cloud.

Hikvision AI Cloud is a distributed structure incorporating cloud computing and edge computing. Launched last year, it can extend an AI algorithm from the cloud centre to an edge network of on-premises video recorders and servers, and further to edge devices, such as security cameras.

Hikvision has deployed AI Cloud in more than 30 Chinese provinces, providing AI-empowered solutions for emergency management, maintenance, urban operation, traffic management, business intelligence, etc. Hikvision’s facial recognition system at an intersection in Suqian, Jiangsu, decreased red-light-running violations by over 90 percent.

Hikvision CEO Hu Yangzhong says the company will open an AI development platform for application developers. At the same time, AI Cloud will also merge algorithms from other AI companies.

“The industry should jointly promote the development and application of AI in the security camera industry,” says Hu.

Hikvision will also launch an open training system providing transfer learning and augmented learning capabilities; AI services on EZVIZ, its video-service application designed for consumer markets; and data labelling and sharing services.

Founded in 2001, Hikvision is dedicated to improving video surveillance and video analysis technology, and providing surveillance products and solutions. The company accounted for 21.4 percent of the global market in CCTV and video surveillance in 2016, and now leads the security surveillance market with an estimated value of US$63 billion.

Hikvision’s surveillance system has integrated AI chips with frontend cameras, and developed data analysis systems on the backend. As a result, it is an essential supplier for China’s Skynet, a real-time surveillance program for public security. Last year BBC reporter John Sudworth agreed to be tracked by the system, which required just seven minutes to locate and “apprehend” him.

Not to be outdone by Hikvision, China’s leading tech companies are also building open-sourced AI platforms and sharing data access, tools, and backend codes with developers. Baidu last year opened its smart assistant platform DuerOS and autonomous driving platform Apollo. By January 2018, DuerOS had activated more than 50 million smart devices, with over 10 million active devices per month.

IFlytek, a leading Chinese AI company known for its voice technology, plotted a bold course last year: “Project 1024” will package CN¥1.024 billion into a developer fund, build 1024 professional teams, and support 1024 AI projects.

Journalist: Tony Peng | Editor: Michael Sarazen

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