Alibaba AI Surprises Many In Singing Competition

11 Apr

Alibaba intelligence, Alibaba song

The artificial intelligence system of Alibaba surprised many people by correctly predicting the winner of a singing competition

Forget that artificial intelligence can only be used for playing board games. Alibaba used artificial intelligence (AI) to find out who will win the famous Chinese reality television singing competition – and got finalists and winner all correct.

On the night of April 8, 2016, the Chinese e-commerce company’s cloud computation division, Alibaba Cloud or Aliyun — used its AI program “Ai”, during the Hunan TV’s 4-hour finale “I Am A Singer.”

The program was used to select winners as the audience of half a thousand of people who provided their services as judges deliberated upon independently. During the finale, predictions made by Ai were featured live.

The TV show is a domestic adaption of the South Korean show “I Am A Singer” and has continued to be amongst the famous Chinese TV shows since it was launched 3 years. Singers on the Chinese show are often experienced professional singers.

Chinese-US singer Coco Lee was declared the winner, singing a Chinese version of “A Love Before Time,” an Oscar-nominated song from the 2000 movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” During the performance given on April 8, 2016, Coco was dressed up in the same gown as when she sang the song at the Oscar Awards ceremony 15 years ago.

The Ai team of Alibaba had been striving to train the highly advanced AI program, with its latest effort push after it test launched  Ai on April 1, 2016 during the earlier “I Am a Singer” episode, stated Aliyun’s director of the Big Data Incubator, Min Wanlin.

During the test, Ai predicted the topmost first and second slots in the correct manner, but was unable to assume the third runner-up. While Alibaba has internally used Ai to help serve customers and predict traffic conditions, the show marked the disclosure of Ai first time in public.

The tech program used factors like a song’s popularity, the energy and pitch of a singer, the content lyrics as well as the feedback given by audience to assess the performances given by 7 finalists. It then continues “learning” what resonates with the people around it and gives an answer.

On Chinese Weibo microblogs, a large number of users discussed the prediction made by Ai, comparing it to Google’s AlphaGo and appreciated the latest advancements in AI. A person wrote, “Maybe we should let Alpha Go and Ai play chess sometime.” Others said they believed the prediction made by Ai was forged and that the results of the singing competition results were already decided prior to the show.

Dr. Min Wianlin’s team has continued to work on AI for four years. Moving forward, Dr. Min told Aliyun intends to provide on-demand AI facilities. The company is presently working on various AI ventures.

It could be said that if Alibaba continues to develop AI successfully, it can serve its customers in a better manner at a time when consumer led growth is witnessed in China.


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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in Ali Baba, Technology


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