CGTN: City Brain to Change Urban Life

City Brain to Change Urban Life: Interview with Alibaba Cloud's Chief Machine Intelligence Scientist
Alibaba is also turning its attention to building the smart cities of the future. Alibaba Cloud’s so-called City Brain is pioneering AI techniques in an attempt to change urban life as we know it. It’s a project likely to turn heads in such countries as the UAE where smart cities are a buzz-word. Our Jacob Greaves sat down with one of the project’s chief engineers during a tech summit in Dubai.

JACOB GREAVES DUBAI “Tell us what impact the likes of the Hangzhou City Brain is having.”

WANLI MIN, CHIEF MACHINE INTELLIGENCE SCIENTIST ALIBABA CLOUD “Essentially the city Brain first of all can help you reduce the traffic jam, improve the travel speed, reduce the travel time at minimum cost because it only leverages on the date the city government already has. But in the past this kind of idea is not possible to implement, why? Because you do not have the cloud computing we didn’t have the AI algorithm. Now with the city brain we manage to combine cloud computing big data technology and AI algorithm together in real time and use the date the government already has and deliver the solution.”

JACOB GREAVES DUBAI “With the effects we’ve seen like viruses and malware like WannaCry, how confident are you that won’t affect your products?”

WANLI MIN, CHIEF MACHINE INTELLIGENCE SCIENTIST ALIBABA CLOUD “Right after the WannaCry gets noticed in the media it turns out our cloud service as a cluster has zero, zero infection, zero bad case. On the contrary, the individual PC got infected, why because the individual PC lacks the best of the protection of the virus protection so they get vulnerable because they stand alone. Once they get on the internet they are vulnerable to the most sophisticated virus attack, but for our cloud, we have the most advanced state of the art virus protection.”

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 JACOB GREAVES DUBAI “What are the global goals of a project like city brain?”
 
WANLI MIN, CHIEF MACHINE INTELLIGENCE SCIENTIST ALIBABA CLOUD “On the technical level we believe some of the first of a kind innovation in the city brain definitely has a high relevance with other cities across the globe. Clearly we want to become a globalized, global company with cloud focus, but our focus is cloud plus, plus AI, plus big data, it becomes really more than just cloud it become a solution company, we want to offer the solution to solve the problem of our customers. So to that end we believe that this is a direction that will differentiate ourselves from other cloud computing companies. We are not only offering storage, we are also offering AI power solution service.”