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Lenovo to ramp up investment in artificial intelligence

By Cheng Yu and Ma Si | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-05 17:44
Lenovo to ramp up investment in artificial intelligence

The shadow of an attendee sits on a podium wall during a Lenovo Group Ltd news conference in Hong Kong, China, May 26, 2016. [Photo/VCG]

Chinese leading PC giant Lenovo Group Ltd will step up its efforts to develop artificial intelligence (AI) to boost its existing business as well as create new growth engine.

The move is Lenovo's latest effort to revive its PC, smartphone and other hardware businesses through AI as it is faces mounting competition from HP Inc, Asustek Computer Inc, Acer Corp, among others.

"AI has two important functions. The first is to use AI to add service to the existing equipment, which is like adding a pair of wings. The second is to create innovative AI equipment," said Rui Yong, chief technology officer of Lenovo.

Rui said that Lenovo always planned to turn from "device only" into "device+cloud" and that AI plays an indispensable role in the process.

Earlier this year, Lenovo announced that it plans to pour $1.2 billion into the research and development of AI, the internet of things and big data over the next four years.

The investment plan came as Lenovo surrendered the title of the world' largest PC maker to HP in the first quarter of 2017, marking the first loss since 2013, according to a report by IDC. In the first quarter, Lenovo accounted for 20.4 percent of the world PC market while HP had 21.8 percent share in terms of PC shipments.

To revive growth Lenovo last week announced cooperation with Tsinghua University, China's top university, and Ing Dan Group, China's e-commerce platform of electronic components, to encourage young staff and university students from the three places to start a business.

The announcement came in a ceremony of Lenovo Dream Lab, an innovative incubator that provides funds and services to these people to realize their innovative ideas and create pioneering products.

Among these products, some AI equipment, such as speech and semantic recognition device, are included. The device will take advantage of AI to help people translate from Chinese to English, Thai and other languages that Chinese tourists often use when travelling.

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