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Midea launches One of the Largest Chinese Dish AI Datasets and High Precision AI Deep Learning Models for Chinese Dish Recognition

SILICON VALLEY, Calif., March 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Midea's global artificial intelligence (AI) team formally launched its large-scale, Chinese dish AI dataset called "ChineseFoodNet", which aims to facilitate AI image recognition of Chinese dish images. It contains over 180,000 food photos in 208 categories, with each category covering a large variety recipe and selfie images. ChineseFoodNet is one of the largest Chinese dish image datasets in the world. The dataset is available for research and can be downloaded at https://sites.google.com/view/chinesefoodnet/.  Since its official release in late 2017, this dataset has been downloaded by hundreds of research institutions and scientific researchers within just three months, and has received very positive feedback.

In early 2017, Midea's global AI team also developed preeminent, high precision deep learning AI models and algorithms that recognize 300+ categories of popular Chinese dishes. As we know, every Chinese dish can look complex and vary greatly. For example, one of the most popular Sichuan Dishes, Mopo Tofu, can look dramatically different in different restaurants in various parts of China or in different countries. The challenges also presented in the look of the dish including the ingredients, lighting, distance, photography angles and more.

This presents a great challenge for AI image recognition. Midea's AI team has developed models with accuracy of 90% and above. This function has been widely used in Midea Health platform. With these advanced AI functions, users can enjoy balanced and personalized diets through its recommendations, and excellent cooking experiences because of its automatic dish recognition, recipe recommendations and intelligent cooking service.

Midea's global AI team includes the Emerging Technology Center in Silicon Valley, California and the AI Research Institute in Shenzhen, China. Within the short one and a half years after establishment, this global AI team has already successfully built a high efficiency, large scale heterogeneous Deep Learning GPU cluster,  and leveraged its powerful computational capacity to successfully develop a variety of AI products and applications. This includes products such as an AI smart oven, an AI rice cooking robot, smart kitchen with natural language processing, Chinese dish recognition, industrial AI and visual defect inspection, and the new retail which will soon be released in AWE (Appliance World Expo) Shanghai.

Dr. Wang Dongyan, global AI leader of Midea group, vice president and general manager of the Silicon Valley Emerging Technology Center and Shenzhen Artificial Intelligence Institute, told us: "Comparing with western dishes, Chinese dishes have great variation, which presents a greater challenge for AI. Our team has developed advanced deep learning image recognition models, utilizing the heterogeneous deep learning GPU/CPU cluster AI platform we custom designed and built in 2017. The result has been very promising, and we believe it is one of the best in the world. Meanwhile, in order to give back to the scientific community, we have published part of our Chinese dish AI data set our team built for free research use. We hope this will help AI researchers and application developers around the world to further the progression of AI. We strongly believe AI will be the core engine to drive Midea's strategic transformation from a Chinese, traditional, home appliance manufacturer to a global, innovation driven, Smart Home plus Intelligence Manufacturing high tech group."

Midea Group, is a Global Fortune 500 technology group with focus on consumer appliances, HVAC systems, robotics/industrial automation systems, and smart supply chain (logistics). This high precision artificial intelligence Chinese dish recognition model, and the research AI data set of large-scale Chinese dish, will play an important role in smart kitchen, health platform, and smart home applications for Midea. This is a significant breakthrough in artificial intelligence applications in the precision diet and health fields. Midea Group will announce many AI products and applications at the upcoming AWE (Appliance World Expo) in Shanghai, and we hope customers will enjoy "one button" or voice-based AI cooking with Midea's new AI products, and AI driven health management.


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