(Yicai Global) Jan. 4 -- Chinese machine learning and big data expert Zhang Tong has resigned from his post as director of Tencent Holdings' Artificial Intelligence Lab and returned to the world of academia to continue his research in the AI field.
Tencent confirmed Zhang's departure without giving specific reasons, Shanghai-based newspaper National Business Daily reported, adding that the AI Lab will continue to explore the research and application of cutting-edge technologies.
Zhang, previously a professor of statistics at the State University of New Jersey, joined Baidu in 2013 as the vice-dean of its research institute before moving to Tencent in March 2017. He led more than 50 AI researchers at the Shenzhen-based firm as well as over 200 AI application engineers to carry out basic AI research covering computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing and machine learning.
Zhang oversaw the creation of AI technology used in bot that plays the traditional Chinese game Go. It defeated other bots such as DeepZenGo, MayoiGo, Raynz and AQ.
Tencent AI Lab published 197 academic papers during Zhang's tenure covering neural computing, machine learning, comprehensive voice signal processing and many other sectors. The facility also provided technical support for nearly 100 Tencent products such as WeChat, QQ, Daily Express and QQ Music.