By Josh Ye
HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s SenseTime on Tuesday announced plans for a technology discussion day, boosting shares in the artificial intelligence (AI) firm.
It promised to showcase its latest products as well as “cutting-edge advancements in artificial intelligence technology” in an invitation sent to analysts and seen by Reuters.
Shares in the company, which has been sanctioned by the U.S., gained more than 10% in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Global interest in AI technology has soared since the debut in late 2022 of ChatGPT, a popular chat bot developed by U.S. company OpenAI which uses generative AI technology that learns from past data to create new text, images or computer code.
Chinese search engine giant Baidu’s unveiling of its self-developed rival Ernie Bot last month was closely watched by investors, with its shares plunging and then recovering over two days as users assessed it.
SenseTime, which is best known for its computer vision technology, did not elaborate on the type of AI products it would demonstrate.
The company did not respond when asked about the planned event which is to be held on Monday in Shanghai.
During its earnings call last week, the company said it was aiming to launch its own chatbot in mid-2023.
The model has been trained with more than 100 billion parameters to improve its performance in text generation and human-computer dialogue, the company said at the time.
“While SenseTime is known for its expertise in computer vision (CV), we believe many of its core capabilities, built and improved over the years, can be transferred to the current AI arms race,” said Charlie Chai, an analyst with 86Research.
“Key assets include one of China’s largest GPU farms, the proprietary cluster management and model training platform, and also commercialization experience that turns a technology into business-friendly products,” he added.
In 2019, the U.S. put SenseTime on a trade blacklist after accusing it of developing facial recognition programs that facilitate Beijing’s surveillance of ethnic Uyghurs in its Xinjiang region.
SenseTime said at the time that it strongly opposed the U.S. ban and would work with relevant authorities to resolve the situation.
(Reporting by Josh Ye; additional reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by Jason Neely)