Monday, 21 December 2020 11:28

Computer vision dominates AI market in China, says SCMP report

Computer vision dominates AI market in China, says SCMP report Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Computer vision dominates the artificial intelligence sector in China with a 50% share of the market and the highest amount of funding in the world, with US$4.5 billion (A$5.9 billion) raised from venture capitalists between 2016 and 2018.

A report from the South China Morning Post, an organisation now owned by retail giant Alibaba, said that the use of CV in the security and surveillance sector had now plateaued.

Thus there was a need to a find a new domestic alternative and the next CV growth engine, the 134-page report, which is named Computer Vision Report and is part of SCMP Research’s China AI Deep-Dive Series, said.

Among the key findings of the report are the opportunities in the market may lie in:

Security: As the overall penetration rate of CV remains low, CV companies are expanding their offerings to a wide range of security solutions.

cv oneHealthcare: Regulatory change has widened the market for medical imaging.

Autonomous vehicles: While fully self-driving cars have yet to be achieved, some players have managed to profit on existing technologies.

Finance: The insurance sector is emerging as a major user of object recognition technology.

Retail and marketing: CV is in great demand amid stalling sales growth and declining productivity. Major use cases include cashier-free shopping and store traffic analysis.

The report found that inspite of the previous high growth of its CV market, China was yet to take the lead, currently lagging behind the US in key areas, including hardware, talent and patents.

"Contrary to some people’s belief, privacy concerns over facial recognition are growing in China," the report said.

"Besides, China’s CV industry still needs to work on reducing its reliance on underlying algorithms from the US, convincing its best and brightest to develop their ideas at home, and overcoming its dependence on manually-labeled data."

SCMP’s technology editor John Artman said: "Having survived the US-China technological rivalry in 2019, Computer Vision unicorns in China face major challenges with an increasingly saturated market for surveillance applications.

“Searching for the next growth engine after security is a top priority for major CV companies in China and how they adapt will determine the evolution of the AI sector.”

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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