IT consultancy firm Accenture has purchased a minority stake in Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) startup Malong Technologies, wrapping up a partnership agreement to offer new AI applications to its clients.
Based in Shenzhen, China, Malong Technologies has an AI solution called ProductAI, which empowers machines to see physical objects the way humans do.
Retailers use it to check out products, allowing customers to shop for items by taking a picture of it with their smartphones.
Other use cases of the solution include detecting defects in manufacturing, baggage scanning at airports, and analyzing medical images to help doctors make critical decisions faster.
Moreover, the AI product is available as an embedded system or as a server appliance, with the software running on servers in businesses’ home countries to comply with local security requirements.
“AI has been making incredible strides in advancing computer vision, as is clearly demonstrated in what Malong Technologies is now able to offer to organizations,” said Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Accenture.
Accenture has not disclosed the financial details of the deal. What it has made clear, however, is that this is Accenture Venture’s first bet on the Asian country.
As part of the agreement, Malong has designated Accenture as its preferred systems integrator and consulting partner.
In a recent trial organized for an Accenture client, Malong’s product was used to detect cases of stroke from brain-scans, achieving the same level of accuracy as human doctors.