Yu Dong, formally of Microsoft Research, is said to be leading the U.S. effort. He recently joined Tencent and has traditionally focused on the nexus of speech recognition and deep learning. Tencenthas a clear interest in developing a personal assistant that could tie its products together and increaseits competitivenessin the market.
Tencents investment in machine learning will enable it to deploy the technology across the company. Rather than build one-off services, the smartest tech companies are designing models that can be integrated into older products and services while serving as the basisfor new ones.
Baidu,Tencent, Alibaba, Didi Chuxingand other Chinese tech companies have struggled to convince U.S. AI researchers to move their research overseas. This has ledto stiff competition for AI talent in the U.S. as major international tech companies compete for engineers alongside Google, Microsoft and Facebook on their home turf.