How DAMO Academy Uses Medical AI to Help the Sick

Hua Xiansheng, Vice President of Alibaba Group and Senior Researcher at DAMO Academy

Hua Is Not a Stranger to the Business World

Hua graduated from the famous Huanggang Middle School and received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Peking University in 2001. After working at Microsoft for 14 years, Hua was persuaded by Wang Jian, his former boss and the “Father of Alibaba Cloud”, to join Alibaba where he spearheaded the development and application of AI-enabled visual technologies.

Technology Is Not Everything in the Field of Medical AI

In fact, the rationale behind it is simple: High-quality data sets are critical to building a successful AI system. When it comes to medical AI, it has never been an easy job to acquire high-quality data.

Customers Are Not Interested in Medical AI Despite the Enthusiasm throughout the Industry

The Chinese financial magazine Caijing pointed out in a report dated March 2019 that the influx of venture capital led to a high degree of product homogenization in the industry, and as a result, many AI medical products were sent to hospitals and stood idle. As time goes by, AI gradually evolved into an ornamental part of the medical sector, rather than a functional part that can help when needed.

How Did the Researchers of DAMO Academy Make a Breakthrough?

Hua Xiansheng said that, when he looked back, he found that the fundamental game-changing truth was to “pivot on the technology platform and forge alliances with industrial partners to thrive.”

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