16 October 2018 - 8 Heshvan 5779 - ח' חשון ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Chinese millionaire to set up AI lab in Haifa E-mail

Zong Qinghou, the CEO of one of China’s largest companies, has announced plans to set up a research centre at the University of Haifa, focusing on artificial intelligence (AI).

Zong will provide the AI centre with at least US$10 million over five years, the research partners announced at a signing event in September. Much of the funding will go to constructing laboratories and obtaining high-end equipment, the University of Haifa’s President Ron Robin said.

“For us, this is a gamechanger. We get recognition by a major Chinese investor, that the work that we’re doing is significant,” Robin told The Jerusalem Post.

Zong, who heads the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, China’s largest beverage company, has visited the University of Haifa’s campus four times.

The research centre will focus on improving the camera lens behind driverless cars – necessary for operating a vehicle when it’s raining or foggy – as major automobile companies and tech companies race to perfect the technology in the multi-billion-dollar autonomous vehicle market.

“We have developed a series of cameras that are able to reproduce very high-level resolution movies using a very small number of pixels. And coming from our marine sciences [research], we’ve developed a camera that takes high-resolution shots even when it’s under water. One of our researchers developed a camera that can take underwater pictures at great depth with virtually no light,” Robin said.

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