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标签:公司 科技 美元 中国 识别  日期:2018-07-30 21:40

China’s facial recognition start-ups are attracting big investments at a time when Silicon Valley’s giants are facing a backlash over their use of the technology. 中国的面部识别初创企业正在吸引大量投资,而此时硅谷巨头们对这项技术的使用正面临反弹。 In the past week, Chinese facial recognition companies, according to a pair of reports, were close to raising as much as $1.6 billion. Those investments would build on billions of dollars that investors have already put into the companies. 根据两份报道,在过去的一周,中国面部识别公司筹集了将近16亿美元(约合106亿元人民币)的资金。这些投资将建立在投资者已经投入这些公司的数十亿美元基础上。 The investments reflect facial recognition’s embrace by Beijing, which has created a better environment for companies to test the technology than in the West. And that could help China deploy advanced systems faster and more broadly than America. 这些投资反映了北京对面部识别的认可,这为企业测试这项技术创造了比西方更好的环境。这可能有助于中国比美国更快、更广泛地部署先进系统。 SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund was seeking a $1 billion stake in SenseTime, an artificial intelligence company in Beijing, Bloomberg reported last week, citing anonymous sources. SenseTime makes facial recognition software used in applications like monitoring CCTV footage and checking a consumer’s likeness to validate digital payments. 据彭博(Bloomberg)上周援引匿名消息来源报道,软银(SoftBank)的1000亿美元愿景基金(Vision Fund)正在寻求获得北京人工智能公司商汤科技10亿美元(约合66亿元人民币)的股份。商汤科技制作的面部识别软件可用于监控摄像头,还有检查消费者的相貌相似性以验证数字支付。 On Monday, Bloomberg reported that, according to anonymous sources, the Chinese A.I. company Megvii would close a $600 million funding round “within weeks.” Alibaba and Hong Kong-based Boyu Capital are expected to contribute. Megvii is the developer of Face++, the facial recognition system already used in China to grant or deny people access to buildings, or check if the driver of a Didi ride-hailing car is legitimate, among other things. 彭博在周一报道称,根据匿名消息来源,中国人工智能公司旷视科技将“在几周内”完成一轮6亿美元的融资。预计会有阿里巴巴和总部位于香港的博裕资本的参与。旷视科技是Face++的开发者,这是一种面部识别系统,在中国已经被用来允许或拒绝人们进入建筑物,或者核查滴滴打车司机背景等等。 SenseTime has already raised over $1.6 billion in funding since it was founded in 2014, according to data from S & P Global Market Intelligence, and as recently as May was valued at about $4.5 billion. Investors included Alibaba and Bank of China as well as the American firms Qualcomm, Silver Lake, Tiger Global Management and Fidelity International. 根据标普全球市场财智(S&P Global Market Intelligence)的数据,自2014年成立以来,商汤科技已经筹集了超过16亿美元(约合106亿元人民币)的资金,在5月得到了45亿美元(约合300亿元人民币)的估值。投资者包括阿里巴巴和中国银行,以及美国公司高通(Qualcomm)、银湖资本(Silver Lake)、老虎环球(Tiger Global Management)和富达国际(Fidelity International)。 Megvii’s previous funding round raised $460 million from Chinese companies like Foxconn and Ant Financial, as well as several domestic investment funds. It also received money from the Moscow-based Russian Direct Investment Fund and South Korea’s SK Group. 旷视科技的上一轮融资由富士康和蚂蚁金服等中国公司以及几家国内投资基金筹集了4.6亿美元(约合31亿元人民币)。它还得到了总部设在莫斯科的俄罗斯直接投资基金(Russian Direct Investment Fund)和韩国SK集团的投资。 The facial recognition systems being built by SenseTime and Megvii use artificial intelligence to discern individuals from one another in images or video, by studying libraries of existing content. It is one of the more established machine learning techniques, which means that it has found some practical application in consumer products — such as Apple’s Face ID, which allows a user to unlock his or her iPhone by looking at it, or Facebook’s tools, which can recognize users in uploaded images. 商汤科技和旷视科技正在打造的面部识别系统通过研究现有内容库,利用人工智能来识别图像或视频中的个体。这是一种更成熟的机器学习技术,这意味着它已经在消费产品中找到了一些实际的应用方式——比如苹果的Face ID,它允许用户看着iPhone将其解锁,或者可以在上传图像中识别用户的Facebook工具。 Such software has proved controversial because of the privacy issues that it raises. Law enforcement’s use of it to identify criminals or track citizens, in particular, has drawn pushback. 事实证明,这种软件会带来争议,因为它引发了隐私问题。执法部门利用信息技术识别罪犯或追踪公民的做法尤其遭到了抵制。 But even if its citizens have such concerns, China’s government wants to use facial recognition to create a vast national surveillance system. And it has created an environment to foster its development. 但即使中国公民有这样的担忧,中国政府也希望利用面部识别来建立一个庞大的国家监控系统。为此它创造了一个促进其发展的环境。 The country’s push to become a technological powerhouse has created a wave of promising A.I. start-ups. Its desire to track its citizens has also meant that many of them have focused specifically on image recognition. And there are close ties between many of these start-ups and the government, which allows companies to apply their software to huge state data sets. The chief executive of SenseTime, which has contracts with the Police Department in Chongqing and China Mobile, told The Financial Times in January that the company had “processed 500 million identities for facial recognition. U.S. companies can’t test on so many customers.” 该国成为技术强国的努力,已经创造了一批有前景的人工智能初创企业。中国对追踪其公民的渴望也意味着,这些公司中有许多会特别关注图像识别。许多这样的初创企业与政府有着密切的联系,政府允许公司将它们的软件应用于庞大的国家数据集。商汤科技的首席执行官在1月份告诉《金融时报》(The Financial Times),该公司已经“处理了5亿个面部识别身份。美国公司无法对这么多客户进行测试,”这家公司已经与重庆市警察局和中国移动签订了合同。 Similar arrangements have existed in the United States. But American technology companies have recently run into resistance when working with government agencies. 美国也有类似的安排。但美国的科技公司最近在与政府机构合作时遇到了阻力。

Amazon endured heavy lobbying from shareholders, the American Civil Liberties Union and staff about the use of its Rekognition software by police to identify people. Microsoft, too, has suffered blowback over a project to help develop A.I. for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And Google ultimately decided not to renew a contract with the Pentagon that called for using image recognition to improve the performance of drone operations. 亚马逊(Amazon)受到了股东、美国公民自由(American Civil Liberties Union)和工作人员的大力劝说,阻碍该公司允许警方使用其Rekognition软件来识别身份。微软(Microsoft)的一个项目也遭遇了反击,该项目旨在帮助美国移民与海关执法局(Immigration and Customs Enforcement)开发人工智能工具。谷歌(Google)最终决定不与五角大楼续签合同,后者希望使用图像识别来改进无人机的行动。 In the wake of those criticisms, Microsoft has actually called on Congress to regulate the use of facial recognition technology. 事实上,在遭到这些批评之后,微软已经呼吁国会监管面部识别技术的使用。 The nature of A.I. means that software systems can be improved by crunching through larger and larger data sets that can be provided by the government — from things like CCTV footage, driving license images, and more. China’s start-ups, then, are enjoying the benefits of improving their technology inside projects that America’s tech giants might be lobbying their own way out of. 人工智能的性质决定了软件系统可以通过处理政府——从闭路电视录像、驾照图片等等来源——提供的越来越大的数据集得以改进。因此,当美国的科技巨头可能正为了脱离这种项目而四处游说的同时,中国的初创企业正享受着在这些项目中改进技术的好处。