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Yitu to power finance and medical services

By Fan Feifei | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-04 08:22

Shanghai-based Yitu Technology, a startup engaged in artificial intelligence or AI and facial recognition technologies, is ramping up efforts to expand its presence in overseas markets.

It will apply AI to fields like urban public safety, healthcare and finance.

It plans to set up a research and development hub in Singapore, its first such facility outside of China.

The hub is expected to bolster Singapore's applications of AI in the areas of security and finance. Singapore will likely act as a gateway for the startup to expand across the world.

"Singapore is a strategic location for us to begin our overseas ventures," said Leo Zhu, CEO and founder of Yitu. Europe and Africa will be tapped next, he said.

The company's AI technologies have been used in a wide range of areas like security, finance, transportation and healthcare. It has formed partnerships with leading companies in these fields to provide integrated solutions.

For instance, its advanced facial recognition technology has been adopted by China Merchants Bank at over 1,500 outlets nationwide, enabling cash withdrawals at ATMs.

Similarly, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank has adopted Yitu's technologies in its video teller machines or VTMs for online banking.

Lin Chenxi, co-founder of Yitu, said there is still a long way to go before AI plays a significant role in rejuvenating any industry.

"There is still much potential for AI's applications in the healthcare sector. That will mean an improvement not only in the efficiency of treating illnesses but also the efficiency of doctors learning about how diseases can be cured," said Lin in an interview with Global Times newspaper.

Lin told GT this will require technology breakthroughs not just in computer vision, but in natural language processing, semantic comprehension and healthcare knowledge mapping.

Data accumulated over the course of unleashing the potential in AI's healthcare applications could also influence drug development.

Its intelligent diagnostic assistance system has been under clinical trials in dozens of hospitals in Shanghai and Zhejiang province.

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