HEFEI – March 6, 2020 – iFLYTEK, one of Asia's leading's artificial intelligence (A.I.) and speech technology companies, is headquartered one province away from Wuhan. We have witnessed the coronavirus firsthand and immediately recognized that mobilizing our companies’ technological firepower could play an essential role in stemming the epidemic's spread. Yet, our efforts in China are only successful if there is true international coordination.
First, we donated 10 million yuan (approximately $1.44 million) of our own A.I. technology and medical equipment to prevent the further spread of the illness. Second, we mobilized our global partner network to help collect medical supplies to support the epidemic’s control and prevention campaign. Partners from all around the world heeded our request for aid. Most notably, our South Korean partner Hancom Group responded to our call to action by donating 20,000 protective masks.
Our smart medical care technology is helping to control and prevent the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. We have deployed our intelligent medical assistants to 66 districts and counties throughout China to help physicians remotely screen high-risk individuals and conduct patient follow ups. These A.I. powered medical assistants analyze the patients’ medical records and send an analysis to the province’s Health Commission, aiding the decision-making process. Doctors and the Health Commission are also using iFLYTEK’s intelligent external call system to distribute important information about the illness.
In rural areas, where medical resources and expertise may be limited and overtaxed, A.I. technologies are making a big difference in allowing doctors to remotely assist with early detection and patient care. These technologies have proven effective in China and have applicability around the world.
In the education space, we have deployed our smart technology products for at-home learning at no cost in Hubei province where schools have been temporarily shut down. These programs allow students to maintain a sense of normalcy by preventing a disruption of their studies until schools reopen. The platform is a live, online teaching system that relies on an intelligent learning network to personalize learning and streamline teaching preparation. Today, the program is used in 16,000 schools nationwide and is helping more than 25 million teachers and students.
As anxiety over coronavirus increases around the world, so does the shortage of medical supplies. This is especially true in China and other locations at the frontlines of fighting the virus. For that reason, we are thankful to the U.S. government for recently granting our company an export license so that we can continue to help combat the coronavirus. The license will enable us to purchase basic medical supplies, including protective coveralls, surgical masks, protective eyewear, and digital thermometers from the U.S. These additional medical supplies will undoubtedly help contain the spread of the virus and save lives.
As coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, we are at a moment where international cooperation is needed more than ever, especially between the East and West. At an individual and corporate level, we all need to step up and do our part. At iFLYTEK, we will continue to devote our time, resources and artificial intelligence technologies to fighting the spread of coronavirus.
There is nothing unusual about what we are doing. We saw a dire problem and identified how we could help by employing our unique technology and expertise. iFLYTEK is just one example of the many companies in Asia and the U.S. that are doing their part, but there is still much more work to be done. Technology companies around the world, especially artificial intelligence companies, have a unique role to play in combating global health crises like this one that threatens all humanity. The time to sit on the sidelines is over.
At a time when the whole world is trying to control the spread of the coronavirus, we desperately need more international cooperation in order to succeed. Global businesses, specifically technology companies, should play a vital role in this cross-border effort. However, for this to happen we need to remove barriers to cooperation and think more creatively about how our technologies can be used to address this global crisis.