Tang Xiao’ou, an artificial intelligence scientist and chairman of Hong Kong-based AI company SenseTime, has passed away while sleeping on December 15, according to a report by Tencent News on December 16. He was 55 years old.
Born in 1968 in Liaoning, China, Tang was a distinguished figure in the field of AI. After graduating from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1990, he furthered his studies in the United States, earning a master’s degree from the University of Rochester in 1991 and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996.
Tang’s career took him to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he founded the Multimedia Laboratory in 2001. He later served as the head of the Visual Computing Group at Microsoft Research Asia from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, he moved to the Shenzhen Advanced Technology Research Institute, where he worked as a director and researcher in the Multimedia Integrated Technology Research Office.
Known for his extensive research in computer vision, including multimedia, pattern recognition, and video processing, Tang was once hailed by Chinese official media as a “pioneer and explorer in face recognition technology.”
In 2014, Tang Xiao’ou founded SenseTime together with Xu Li. The company, known for its originality and commitment to AI-led progress, has become Asia’s highest-earning AI company. Its partnerships with Qualcomm, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Honda have bolstered its standing. SenseTime’s research spans perceptual and decision intelligence, intelligent content generation, and enhancement. Despite facing US sanctions, the firm successfully listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in December 2021.
As of press time, no official statement has been released by SenseTime regarding Tang’s death. Unconfirmed reports on Chinese social media suggest that Tang may have taken his own life, although this has not been substantiated.