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How Alibaba Is Pursuing Advancements in AI and Machine Learning

The Alibaba Group has been at the forefront of many breakthroughs in the 21st century. Recently, they've chosen to focus on the disciplines of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning – and they're already treading new ground in that territory, too.

Min Wanli, chief data scientist and GM of Alibaba Cloud's Big Data Division, spoke about the need for increasing research into the area of AI and machine learning, especially from younger generations and recent graduates. He stated: "This is the part we want to share with the younger generation, telling them to unleash their creativity and unleash their imagination. Don’t worry about the hard-coded part. Imagine anything possible, and then use ET Brain to try and explore that."

Making Advancements in Next-Gen AI

Alibaba released two products in the niche of cloud-based AI in 2017 alone – the ET Industrial Brain and the ET Medical Brain.

Focused on serving Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things – or IIoT – Alibaba's ET Industrial Brain consolidates a bevy of AI-driven tools and solutions to a centralized, cloud-based framework. As a result, users enjoy greater equipment utilization and production monitoring on the factory floor, enhanced maintenance planning and much more.

Employees in the medical sector benefit from Alibaba's ET Medical Brain. Similar in concept to the ET Industrial Brain, this suite supports and enhances various activities in the medical field. This includes drug development, advanced medical imaging, facilities management and more. The information gathered through these devices, which serve as fully virtualized patient assistants, is used in executive-level decision-making meant to increase quality of care, access to patient services and more.

It's easy to see how Alibaba's efforts have a significant and tangible impact on the current workforce. But they've made leaps and bounds in the niche of machine learning, too.

Reinforcing Machine-Learning Technology

Alibaba's proprietary machine-learning framework, PAI 2.0, also saw a 2017 release. Meant to facilitate operations in life sciences and manufacturing, the software supports deployment of large-scale data mining and modeling activities.

PAI 2.0 also utilizes the Alibaba Cloud framework to provide users with a bevy of features, including:

- More than 100 sets of algorithms to choose from, including data pre-processing, deep-learning, statistical analysis, classification, regression and more.

- An ultra-large-scale computing engine, known as Apsara, lets users handle massive data sets – on the petabyte level – on a daily basis.

- Greater accessibility via new drag-and-drop features and improved data visualization options. Viewing and translating data has never been easier.

Wanli continued his interviewed by talking about the future of cloud technology, big data and real-time analytics by saying: "We are not only doing the cloud; we are blending the cloud and big data vertical solutions. These days, if you have cloud computing available, you can do real-time analytics to unleash the value in the first moment you receive the data."

To find out more information about The Alibaba Group and any of their products or services, including details on the ET Industrial Brain or the ET Medical Brain, please visit their official website at {{|}}.


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