Internet company Tencent expands AI research in Bellevue

Chinese tech giant Tencent, an internet enterprise, recently announced its plans to expand its offices to Bellevue.

A Tencent spokesperson said Bellevue is an outstanding community and home to some of the world’s best research and engineering talent.

“The city is a key contributor to the Seattle area’s reputation as a leading source for innovation,” the spokesperson said in an email.

The company has significantly expanded efforts to nurture and grow artificial intelligence (AI) teams throughout the company. With just under 12,000 square feet of office space at 1900 NE Eighth St. in Bellevue, the tech company employs about 20 people and has plans to grow.

“We also continue to recruit exceptionally talented researchers and engineers, seeking an environment in which they can do their best work, have a global impact and improve life for billions of people,” the Tencent spokesperson said.

Tencent has applied its technology leadership, deep understanding of connection, user behavior and its open platform/ecosystem to create AI breakthroughs that, they say, can solve the world’s most pressing challenges. Its mission is to enhance the quality of human life through its internet services.

And Tencent offers researchers and engineers the ability to work across many products, platforms and applications to tackle those challenges.

Tencent’s AI Lab is exploring four key areas for AI application, including content, social, gaming and platform tools.

Among the applications delivered across these areas are as follows:

• Content: Content recommendation and search applied in Tencent products such as Weixin, Tian Tian Kuai Bao.

• Social: Chatbots operating on Tencent social media platforms.

• Gaming: Tencent’s AI Fine Art (a Go-play software, which has won the championship title in the 10th Computer Go UEC Cup in March 2017)

• Platform tools: Tencent uses facial recognition technology and its advantage on social platforms to help identify missing children. The program called QQ alert has helped locate 176 children and reunite them with their families. It won the Cannes Gold Lions Award this year.

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