Technological Innovations in the 2020 Double 11 Global Shopping Festival

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This year marks the 12th installment of Alibaba’s Double 11 (11.11) Global Shopping Festival! The 2020 Double 11 festival lived up to its expectations, smashing last year’s records with a total Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) of US$74.1 billion and 583,000 orders created per second at peak. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting technology innovations from the action-packed festival.

Global and Autonomous Logistics by Cainiao and DAMO Academy

Behind every great shopping festival is great logistics. Such is the case with Cainiao Network, whose smart platform technology powers so much of the delivery magic behind Alibaba’s Double 11 Global Shopping Festival. Every year, much is expected of Cainiao. And every year, Cainiao exceeds expectations. Last year, Cainiao arranged handling of a record 1.88 billion total Double 11-related parcels.

Every Double 11, Alibaba’s ecosystem rolls out new and innovative technology to improve the experience for merchants, brands and consumers. This year is no exception. The 2020 Double 11 features “XiaomanLV”, an autonomous delivery robot developed by Alibaba’s DAMO global research academy. XiaomanLV is able to wend its way safely and carefully through complex traffic conditions and has been expediting package delivery at China’s Zhejiang University since Nov. 1. The XiaomanLV robots are expected to deliver 30,000 package by the end of this year’s 11.11. Watch the fun video to see them in action.

AI-Powered Avatars on Taobao Live and Real-Time Translation on AliExpress

We promised lots of 11.11 technology-related eye candy, so here you go: Merchants are harnessing Alibaba’s virtual anchor technology to keep their livestreaming going 24/7 on Taobao Live. The AI-powered avatars, developed by Alibaba’s DAMO research and innovation institute, interact with audiences and answer their questions about consumer products using intelligent cognitive and perception technologies. The virtual anchors tap multi-module algorithms, including natural language processing and speech recognition.

In addition, we now have real-time translation capability during livestreaming. Live streams on international e-commerce platform AliExpress feature the technology at this year’s 11.11. It’s based on a self-developed speech algorithm that cancels out ambient and irrelevant noise that can baffle some other AI translation algorithms. It’s also a real pro at understanding slang, colloquialisms and industry terms. This next-generation, real-time technology works to translate Chinese livestreaming into English, Russian, Spanish and French. Check it out in this video.

New Manufacturing: Xunxi Digital Factory

If you follow Alibaba, you’ll know that digitization of China’s mostly offline factories has been a priority these past several years. With orders from around the globe drying up during the pandemic, this transformation of traditional manufacturing became an imperative earlier this year. And it’s working. A shining example of a complete and successful digital remake comes from the Xunxi digital factory in Hangzhou, where cloud computing, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence technologies have helped foster a one-of-a-kind “New Manufacturing” production model. Xunxi is now able to move quickly and more flexibly than before and can enhance the competitiveness of China’s small and medium-sized enterprises who place orders. Xunxi is able to process orders as small as 100 pieces with a super-fast turnaround time of seven days from design to finish. You can read more about “New Manufacturing” in this article by Alizila.

Watch the video.

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