Jul 10, 2020|

Bowen Zhou: JD is among the Few Companies Able to Provide Internet Infrastructure


by Ella Kidron

On July 9th, the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) was held in Shanghai, China.

Dr. Bowen Zhou said, “JD is among the first batch of enterprises to move the real economy online, connecting the industrial internet on one side and the consumer internet on the other. JD’s years of accumulated technology and industry experience in the areas of retail, logistics and supply chain has made it become one of the few companies with the ability to provide Internet infrastructure.”

WAIC gathers the cream of the crop in artificial intelligence, including top academics, industry experts and businesses to engage in an in-depth discussion about the future development of AI. Dr. Bowen Zhou, Chairman of the JD Technology Committee, President of JD Cloud and AI, and IEEE Fellow, shared his vision of Trustworthy AI, Smart Supply Chain and what is termed the “new infrastructure”.

Dr. Zhou is a regular attendee of the WAIC. In 2019, JD announced an AI partnership with Philips at the event in which JD’s AI-driven retail solutions can enable even more nuanced approaches to customer engagement. For example, using computer vision to help understand how particular product images do with customers, as well as using natural language processing to understand pre- and post-shopping behavior.

WAIC held a large scale online exhibition via mobile phone app to complement its offline presence. JD showcased several projects across its core business groups, covering AI in finance, cities, retail, logistics and more, demonstrating its position as a technology and supply chain leader.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos this past January, Dr. Zhou spoke about Trustworthy AI as a model for the innovation and governance of AI in JD’s business and at large. He explained: There is already a consensus in the international community about the six dimensions of “Trustworthy AI”: fairness, accountability, value alignment, robustness, reproducibility and explainability. While fairness, accountability and value alignment embody our social responsibility; robustness, Reproducibility and explainability pose massive technical challenges to us.

As far as the “new infrastructure” is concerned, Dr. Zhou explains that the core motive of the new infrastructure is to open up the physical and digital worlds, and realize the digitized, networked and intelligent development of the physical world. The fundamental technologies of the new infrastructure – 5G, Big Data, Cloud Computing, etc. – have promoted the process of digitization and networking, but in order achieve a higher level of intelligent development, the AI “brain” has become necessary.