Andrew Chi-Chih Yao has influenced China’s technology pioneers by creating AI startups like Megvii and Pony.ai.
A Harvard graduate and the receiver of the prestigious Turing Award, China’s 75-year-old Andrew Chi-Chih Yao has helped China create successful AI technology startups. His education and professional experience have balanced the world’s two largest economies, the US and China. Moreover, his University class teachings have helped China develop informed government policy and mold a generation of academics in advanced AI technology.
Yao quoted in May 2019, “We have a very good opportunity in the next 10 or 20 years when artificial intelligence will change the world,”. He had persuaded China and said, “take a step ahead of others, to cultivate our talents and work on our research.”
After spending 40 years in the US, Yao returned to China in 2004 and started the “Yao Class,” a computer science course at Beijing’s Tsinghua University that impacted China’s technology pioneers and scientific growth. As a result, its graduates connect across different cities within China, advise on one another’s projects, and share resources and funds whenever needed.
Moreover, Yao’s assistants have designed their best AI startups worth over $12 billion, including facial-recognition brand Megvii Technology Ltd, backed by Alibaba and the Guangzhou-based Pony.ai Inc. His other associates teach at the highest level American Universities like Stanford and Princeton.
A “Yao Class” student and CEO of computer graphics startup Taichi Graphics Technology Inc., Hu Yuanming said, “Just his willingness to come back to China means a lot.” In February, his company received a series A financing of $50 million from Sequoia China, Source Code Capital, GGV Capital, and BAI Capital.
Both the US and China agree that AI has a huge potential to develop their future technology, which motivates Washington and Beijing to battle for their tech supremacy. Moreover, their AI developments may influence significant national security implications, owing to their potential to make more ingenious weapons.
Furthermore, Yao has also started specialized training classes in Quantum information and AI. In addition, he is the chief editor of China’s high-school AI textbook publication, launched in 2020.
In an interview given to the China Global Television Network last year, Yao said, “China missed the microelectronics revolution 70 or 80 years ago, so today it is difficult to catch up with the advanced level of the international semiconductor industry, but in emerging fields such as quantum technology and artificial intelligence, China is expected to become an important player.”