Tencent AI Lab and Nature Research jointly promote interdisciplinary R&D for AI in medicine

At Tencent AI Lab’s second academic forum on March 15, Tencent AI Lab announced a strategic cooperation with Springer Nature’s Nature Research. The partnership will promote the interdisciplinary research of AI in the medical care field and the integration of AI in learning and research. The two sides will focus on problems in the medical field, explore the integration of global scientific research resources through academic support, research and exchange, support interdisciplinary cooperation between medicine and AI, and promote the development and integration of AI in medical products.

The two parties will also jointly hold next year’s Nature Conference in Shenzhen. This will be the first international academic conference on artificial intelligence co-held by Nature Research and a technology company. The conference aims to promote the interaction between Chinese and foreign scientific research and industries, and to promote the transformation of academic achievements in this field.

Xing Yao, Tencent vice president and AI Lab leader, said at the signing ceremony that Tencent AI Lab has been actively promoting industry-university cooperation in research. AI Lab and Nature Research have common goals in promoting the development of artificial intelligence, especially in solving major problems in humanity such as medical treatments. Together, the two sides will further accelerate the realization of ubiquitous AI, and look forward to achieve breakthroughs in healthcare and other wellness areas.

Xing Yao, Tencent vice president and AI Lab leader

Dean Sanderson, managing director of Nature Research, said, “Our group’s mission is to promote discovery, and we know that scientific research can be widely used outside the scientific field, which will produce a lot of positive social and economic influence. Therefore, we have been working together with scientists and people from all walks of life to realize this mission through Nature Conference and other platforms. We are delighted to form a strategic partnership with Tencent AI Lab to promote the research and application of AI for the benefit of society and promote the interaction between researchers and industry.”

Dean Sanderson, managing director of Nature Research

Medicine is an important scenario for artificial intelligence, and it will be one of the key areas of focus in the partnership. In 2017, Tencent released the first AI-aided medical device, the Tencent Miying. The device performs an endoscopic examination in less than four seconds, and detects early esophageal cancer at a rate of up to 90 percent. The device has expanded from its initial purpose of screening for esophageal cancer to detecting pulmonary nodules, diabetes, fundus lesions and other diseases. Now, Miying is used in more than 100 hospitals across multiple cities and provinces. On Nov. 15, 2017, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) conducted a meeting for the new generation of AI development and to launch major science and technology projects. MOST announced a list of next-generation AI innovation platforms. China’s new generation of open platforms for AI-aided medical imaging rely on Tencent’s technical capabilities. Tencent Miying has become a national benchmark for AI in medicine.

At the forum, Tencent also announced the upcoming establishment of the robot laboratory called Robotics X. Robotics X and AI Lab will become dual fundamental departments of Tencent AI and further explore the connections between the virtual world and the real world.

The second academic forum held by Tencent AI Lab focused on research and application of AI in medicine, gaming, multimedia content, and human-computer interaction. Tomaso Poggio, a professor of artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, attended the meeting with 20 of the world’s top AI experts to exchange cutting-edge research results.

This article originally appeared in Tencent Tech and was translated by Pandaily.