Tang Xiao’ou

Academic Tang Xiao’ou has built the world’s leading AI company, SenseTime


Tang Xiao’ou is the co-founder of SenseTime, the world’s top artificial intelligence company and a leader in a huge range of AI technologies, from facial recognition to autonomous driving to remote sensing. He is in charge of research at the Hong Kong-headquartered company, which is valued at billions of dollars; it has raised US$2.6 billion in funding over nine rounds, and in 2021 announced plans to float.

He combines his job at the company with his long-term role as a professor of information engineering and the associate dean of the Faculty of Engineering at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he is also the founder of the Multimedia Laboratory. He founded the company in 2014 with two of his PhD students, and it quickly made its name when its facial recognition technology became the first to outperform human eyes. Also an associate director of the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, he worked for the visual computing group at Microsoft Research Asia from 2005 to 2008.

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Tang Xiao’ou has said that he spent 20 years researching AI before any practical commercial applications came along.

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