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SoftBank Vision Fund to Invest $1 Billion in SenseTime

SoftBank Vision Fund to Invest $1 Billion in SenseTime

SoftBank Vision Fund is seeking to invest almost US$1 billion in SenseTime Group as it seeks a stake in the world’s most valuable artificial intelligence (AI) start-up, according to a media report.

SenseTime is a 4 years old startup, which creates systems for analyzing faces and images on a large scale and contributes to the vast Chinese surveillance system. The company is one of the favourites for becoming a host of local startups ahead of Beijing’s goal of making the country the world leader in AI by 2030.

Beyond facial recognition and identity verification, SenseTime is pushing into autonomous driving and augmented reality. The company is developing a service code-named ‘Viper’ to parse data from thousands of live camera feeds – a platform it expects will prove invaluable in mass surveillance.

The company fits into SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son’s vision to invest in a future dominated by AI and data. His firm spent $32 billion to acquire ARM Holdings Plc; the chip designer that he believes will be a linchpin in the development of artificial intelligence.

SoftBank would join some of the biggest names in technology and investment if the deal goes ahead. 


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