Fresh out of the studio, in episode 339, John Artman, the technology editor of South China Morning Post (SCMP) joins us on a conversation with China AI Deep Dive: Computer Vision Report 2020 published by SCMP research. We began the conversation with John’s reflections on the year of 2020 during the pandemic and then dived deep into the report, where John provide a comprehensive overview of the computer vision market in China with the four dragons: SenseTime, Megvii, CloudWalk and Yitu and what the tech giants in China are focusing on in the same sector. John also discuss the implications of the US-China tensions as to how it impact the CV market and offered his thoughts on where the key players will focus on, given the impending regulatory measures introduced by the Chinese government on data privacy and anti-trust.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion:

  • John Artman (@knowsnothing, LinkedIn, SCMP profile), Technology Editor at South China Morning Post 
    • First of all, happy new year! Congratulations on your move from Technode to SCMP although I know it happened a while back. I’m sure a lot of listeners are quite familiar with your work for TechNode so they must be very curious, just like myself, about the work you’re doing in your new role and what areas you will be covering for SCMP.
    • What are your reflections on 2020 in context of your move during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • China AI Deep Dive: Computer Vision Report 2020 (We have a promo code which you can use to get a 20% discount: ANALYSECV)
    • To start, can you provide an overview of what computer vision is as part of a field in artificial intelligence and what are the key areas of research in this space (for example, autonomous vehicles, security, claims processing or eKYC)? 
    • Can you talk about the key factors in how computer vision as an area has accelerated its development specifically in China?
    • How should one envisage the computer vision market? What is the state of venture funding for computer vision for Chinese startups?
    • In the report, you discussed the four dragons of CV in China: SenseTime (商汤), Megvii(旷视), CloudWalk (云从)and Yitu(依图). Can you talk about each one of them and where their key strengths and focuses are with respect to computer vision?
    • How about the tech giants in China, for example, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent? Are they also working on computer vision and what are the aspects they’re focusing on?
    • In the space of autonomous driving, Baidu Apollo is one of the key leaders in the space, have they found a path to monetization and create the next wave for their company’s growth?
    • How are the Chinese regulators looking at computer vision? Are there any legislative efforts to prevent the misuse or abuse of the technologies involved?
    • Given the US ban of Chinese technologies and prohibition of sale of key technologies, for e.g. semiconductor chips which are important for computer vision problems with computing at the edge or IoT, where do you see these four dragons of CV going? Will they focus on international expansion or inward expansion within China or will they venture into other emerging markets where China has a strong influence, like Africa for example? 
    • What is one of the key interesting nuggets which you believe that the audience will get when they purchase the actual report? 
    • Where are the areas of computer vision and broadly AI you see that China will focus on for the next one to three years?
  • Closing
    • Any recommendations that you want to share with our audience that have inspired you recently?
    • Where can our audience find you? 

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted and produced by Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin) and originally created by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.