At the 2018 Computing Conference in Shenzhen on March 28, Simon Hu, Alibaba Group senior vice president and Alibaba Cloud president, announced that Alibaba will commit efforts in the Internet of Things (IoT), which will become Alibaba Group’s new focus after e-commerce, finance, logistics, and cloud computing.
Hu said that Alibaba Cloud is positioned to build IoT’s infrastructure. Alibaba Cloud plans to connect 10 billion devices over the next five years. In addition, to address the new challenges posed by IoT, Alibaba Cloud will build the world’s first “ubiquitous cloud” during its 2018 strategic investment in emerging technologies.
Hu pointed out that Alibaba Cloud’s core focus in the field of IoT is to solve three problems:
- Provide an open and convenient IoT platform;
- Provide strong AI capabilities;
- Realize collaborative computing.
Currently, Alibaba Cloud supports 95 percent of communication protocols such as 2G, 3G, 4G, LoRa, NB- IoT, and eMTC. Developers can quickly access the Alibaba IoT management platform and reduce the IoT access threshold.
Based on Apsara, an independently developed large-scale operating system, Alibaba Cloud’s artificial intelligence technology has been applied to factories, workshops, and pig farms to empower the economy. Alibaba Cloud has provided IoT developers with powerful AI capabilities such as video recognition, natural language processing, voice recognition, and face recognition. As the recognition rate in actual scenarios climb to as high as 95 percent, machines have begun to take on “thinking” abilities.
Hu said that Alibaba Cloud plans to make computing available everywhere and make everything intelligent. In the future, data centers will continue to undertake a large number of computational tasks, and some real-time decision-making and autonomous processes will shift to edge computing, forming an integrated cloud, edge and end computing entity.