WI Harper Group October 28, 2019
WI Harper Group attended the AI Partner Summit held by Intel’s AI Innovation Accelerator in Beijing. Sean Peng, Managing Director at WI Harper Group, spoke on the topic of “China’s Venture Capital Trends and Opportunities” and shared his venture capital experience in artificial intelligence and its applications, such as autonomous driving, finance, and big data. There were also other leaders in artificial intelligence innovation and venture capital at the summit.
At the end of 2018, Intel announced its “AI Builders Program” whose goal is to accelerate innovation in the field and encourage development of AI applications. With its suite of comprehensive AI products, software and hardware offerings, Intel provides support to 100 teams focused on AI innovation and helps them optimize their products and solutions. In an effort to promote industry integration, Intel also introduces the teams to potential industrial partners, provides technology and capital, and identifies market and industry opportunities.
Desheng Li, Managing Director of the China Corporate Strategy Office at Intel and Director of the Intel AI Innovation Accelerator, shared that:
“Intel is not only a technology company with innovative genes, but also a company that continuously promotes the evolution of the industry ecosystem for the better. With its own transformation, Intel is accelerating the pace of data-centric innovation in the intelligent Internet world, building a future-oriented industry ecosystem, and promoting the application and implementation of breakthrough technologies, such as artificial intelligence. We will provide a more comprehensive and in-depth acceleration for the AI innovation ecosystem by virtue of our unique technology advantages from cloud and our ability and experience of connecting upstream and downstream industries. “
Sean Peng, Managing Director at WI Harper Group, also spoke on the theme of “China’s Venture Capital Trends and Opportunities”. He shared his venture capital experience in the fields related to artificial intelligence, such as autonomous driving, finance, and big data.
Mr. Sean Peng shared the following:
| In addition to technical solutions, artificial intelligence needs applications
Artificial intelligence is currently in its third wave, since first introduced in Dartmouth in 1956. With the development of neural networks, deep learning algorithms and models, and the breakthrough of parallel architecture computing power, artificial intelligence has entered our daily lives.
For instance, weak AI is being used in mobile navigation, Amazon’s Alexa / Echo, voice recognition, image recognition, sweeping robot, service robot, advertising recommendations, AI financial analysts, chat robots, automatic driving, etc.
Strong AI is still in development, with hopes that it will enable machines to have thinking, reasoning, creative, emotive, communicative, and logical capabilities, similar to human beings. Given that strong AI remains in the early stages of research, the future is uncertain. Although the computing power of artificial intelligence has been greatly improved, the understanding of the human brain is limited, which has constrained our AI-development.
One of the goals of Machine Automation is to handover inefficient, repetitive work to machines, thus liberating human labor from menial tasks. The development of artificial intelligence follows the same path in seeking to automate repetitive brain work and liberate human brainpower. We can put our brains to more creative uses, thus enabling us to develop a better future for mankind.
From an investment perspective, in the field of artificial intelligence, the dividends brought by technical algorithms will be gradually reduced. Currently, many open-source codes in the market can provide certain technical capabilities. Enterprises should consider how to apply artificial intelligence to solve actual business problems of enterprises and respond to customer needs. If you can create value for your customers, then your business will have value.
At the moment, artificial intelligence has been applied to all walks of life, such as financial technology, telecommunications, security, electricity, retail, education, automatic driving and so on. This wave of artificial intelligence has attracted many entrepreneurs, large enterprises and venture capital investment; its depth and breadth are unprecedented. In the future, enterprises must be Internet + Big Data + AI and embrace science and technology in order to be competitive over the long-term.
| Key areas of science and technology innovation
Compared with the 4G network, 5G provides huge improvements in network speed, stability, delay, and other aspects. It is especially suitable for ultra-clear video, large mobile broadband services, and IoT scenarios with large scale and high delay requirements (e.g., automatic driving, AR / VR, Internet of Things, Industrial Internet). The era of the Internet of Everything will come. 5G provides a new wireless network and technology platform, and there are many potential applications waiting to be developed in the future.
Hydrogen has one of the highest energy density values per mass. Hydrogen energy is the cleanest energy with high conversion efficiency, zero-emission and no pollution. China has listed the hydrogen industry whose strategic development is important and proposed high subsidies for the hydrogen industry. The future of hydrogen energy development is bright, but the main challenges are cost, storage, and transportation.
Fusion can produce huge amounts of energy. The sun is in a state of continuous nuclear fusion, providing energy for humans and all living organisms on Earth. If we can effectively control nuclear fusion and continue to generate energy supply, then our energy problem is solved. This is an area with a high potential for commercialization in the future.
The brain-computer interface can connect the human brains and machines seamlessly, which is the ultimate human-computer communication scheme. Because of artificial intelligence, we now have better analysis and understanding of complex brain waves. Many EEG applications will be developed in the future. Currently, there are many successful cases in medicine, such as the treatment of epilepsy, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, etc., which can be assisted by EEG.
Blockchain technology, through decentralization, cannot be tampered and can be used for smart contracts that are transparent and anonymous for its users. The nodes collectively maintain a reliable shared ledger, which solves the trust problem of traditional architecture. Blockchain can partially reconstruct traditional business architectures and social structures, and provide many entrepreneurship and business opportunities. Blockchain technology can only generate commercial value when it is commercially available, goes deep into vertical fields and solves customers’ pain points. There will be a significant increase in the industry application of blockchain going forward. Once blockchain solutions in finance, medical and manufacturing industries are developed, we expect that they will be implemented quickly.
Serious and complex environmental governance problems have emerged from the process of global industrialization. Only global cooperation can achieve the unity of environmental, economic and social benefits, as well as the goal of sustainable human development. According to FTSE Russell, the current sustainable economy accounts for 6% of the global market, worth about US$54 trillion. Compared with the shrinking share of the fossil fuel market, the sustainable development economy is growing rapidly. By 2030, the market will account for 7% of the global market value. If related industries accelerate to US$90 trillion, the share will reach 10%. The future investment direction includes green energy, plastic recycling, degradable materials, hydrogen energy, and controllable nuclear fusion, etc.
| Ethics of technological development
In addition to sharing investment opportunities, Mr. Peng also stressed the ethical bottom line of technological development. The development of science and technology needs to serve the human society and create a better life. Artificial intelligence is a powerful technology, which needs to be controlled effectively in order not to harm the future of human society. We need to cultivate a culture of ethics for scientists in the long run, so that the development of science and technology can serve the future of mankind.
| Suggestions for entrepreneurs
Currently, the shortage in capital is not just a crisis but an opportunity. It’s very risky for fraudulent companies, but the elimination of these would present an opportunity for companies with strong fundamentals and core technologies. As long as they can survive and accumulate strength throughout this period, the remaining companies will blossom when the market warms up again in a new cycle. To this end, Mr. Peng specially summed up ten suggestions for entrepreneurs in his speech.
- Reduce unnecessary costs quickly
- Focus on core competitiveness and postpone unprofitable products
- Build up the core team and evolve the company around them
- Cash is King, focus on cash flow
- Stop burning money to capture the market and clear development plans
- Segment customers accurately and serve the ones that can pay
- Accelerate the pace of financing and don’t get hung up on company valuation
- Seek all possible resources while focusing on survival
- Help partners and seek help from partners
- CEO should be prepared for the worst but have a vision for how to become the best
Translated from: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/y3cI0_5vdQ_4l7Z-hKEFgg