Alibaba Vice President and Head of Autonomous Driving Lab of DAMO Academy Leaves Company

Chinese media outlet Tech Planet reported on Wednesday that Wang Gang, Vice President of Alibaba and head of the autonomous driving lab of DAMO Academy, recently left the job. Alibaba confirmed the report on Wednesday. Sources said that Wang has chosen to start a business in the field of cleaning robots, and has already obtained financing.

Wang Gang was a tenured Associate Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In 2017, he came to the Internet industry and joined Alibaba Group.

Wang Gang has served as the technical director of TmallGenie and the chief scientist of Alibaba AI Labs. The TmallGenie X1 released by the AI Labs in July 2017 uses many research results of Wang Gang, including AliGenie, a voice recognition technology. Based on this technology, Alibaba launched its voice payment function.

During his tenure as the head of the autonomous driving laboratory of DAMO Academy, Wang Gang and his team were working on computer vision, natural language processing, speech recognition, and machine learning.

On the first day of the Apsara Conference last year, Alibaba Group announced its independent robot plan, and officially released its first unmanned delivery vehicle. The vehicle was created by Wang Gang’s team after four years of research and development.

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In recent years, many academic specialists working for the domestic Internet giants have left their jobs. Wei Xiu, the former technical director of Megvii, joined a university in Nanjing. Andrew Ng, the former chief scientist of Baidu, set up three AI-related companies and foundations. In August last year, Li Lei, director of ByteDance’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, left his post and joined the University of California, Santa Barbara.