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AI+Logistics Lighthouse Live | MEGVII Xu Qingcai: AI creates digital workforce to the world

2022 - Jan - 31

The 6th session of "AI+ Logistics Lighthouse Live", jointly sponsored by AI Logistics Industry Alliance, Logistics Technology and Application and Megvii, started today, and Xu Qingcai, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Logistics Business Division of Megvii, brought a theme sharing entitled "AI+, New Era of Logistics".

Viewpoint 1: AI is evolving from "perceptual intelligence" to "cognitive intelligence"

From the perspective of development stages, AI includes logical, perceptual, and cognitive intelligence. The industry generally believes that AI is in the stage of evolution from "perceptual intelligence" to "cognitive intelligence". In other words, in the field of perceptual intelligence, such as "listening, speaking and seeing", the machine has reached or even surpassed the level of humans; however, in the field of cognitive intelligence, which requires external knowledge, logical reasoning or knowledge migration, it is still in the primary stage.


In the past decade, China's AI technology development has experienced three stages of value leap: first, basic scientific research to achieve a single point of algorithm breakthrough; second, grounded applications to promote algorithm boundary expansion; third, infrastructure to lower the threshold of algorithm production to solve the problems of various industries. As a company that has grown in China's AI industry, Megvii has participated in each stage.

Viewpoint 2: AI algorithm makes products from "good" to "better"

AI algorithms can make devices and systems more intelligent. The autonomous mobile robot (AMR) with the blessing of AI algorithm can "self-image" missing information, so as not to get lost, and has stronger environmental robustness. AI allows devices to handle more objects, such as Megvii visual recognition system for commodity information, which can simultaneously recognize text, graphics, size, shape and other information on cartons, and even judge good and bad. AI also enables products to be smaller in size to meet challenges such as extremely dark light.

Viewpoint 3: AI algorithms into the system, redefining hardware and software

In the past, the algorithm was only an accessory to the product software, often building the software only after the hardware was designed. In the R&D process of innovative, intelligent products, Megvii found that the algorithms largely determine the products' ease of use and characteristics.


Therefore, algorithms must be considered in the product definition, design and R&D stages. Megvii believes that the AI algorithm has become the "core component" of the product and has started to redefine hardware and software, making the product from "impossible" to "possible". For example, algorithms such as robotic arm gripping, SLAM navigation, multi-device collaboration, and operation optimization are of great value to logistics products.

Viewpoint 4: The three layers of value of AI logistics: single intelligence, group intelligence, and business intelligence

Under the joint action of multiple factors such as technology, market, society, and national policies, upgrading digital intelligence has become an inevitable choice for enterprises to realize cost reduction and efficiency increase. In Megvii's view, current users have three layers of demand for intelligent logistics.


1. monolithic intelligence, which mainly solves the efficiency problem of the terminal equipment layer. Ai algorithm will redefine the capability boundary of logistics equipment. Take robots, for example; AI algorithms can make AMR not get lost even in 50% scene-blocking situations and realize autonomous obstacle avoidance and high-precision navigation. In terms of terminal perception, AI vision solutions for product quality inspection and drug review can significantly improve production scenarios' operational efficiency and accuracy.

2. Group intelligence mainly addresses the workflow layer's efficiency. At this stage, there are increasingly intelligent devices such as robots (AGV/AMR), unmanned forklifts, shuttle trucks, stackers, robotic arms, sorters, etc., and it has become inevitable for multiple types of devices to work together with each other. AI will play a massive role in ensuring the whole group's collaboration efficiency.

3. Business intelligence mainly addresses the information dimension's efficiency. Extensive data analysis can better guide decision-making and improve the intelligence of the whole business. In this regard, big data and AI IoT need to cooperate to realize the automation and intelligence of the entire process, from intelligent perception, analysis, and decision making to execution. Business intelligence involves longer chains and links, and the industry is still exploring.

Viewpoint 5: The new era of AI + logistics has coming

2020 is the first year of artificial intelligence logistics. Robotics and technology companies are entering this track one after another, and the epidemic's impact further accelerates the integration of AI and logistics. In the past two years, the layout of this track has grown exponentially; some companies that have used AI technology and products have initially tasted the sweetness; in various logistics scenarios, AI is a descending blow compared to traditional technology in data collection and processing.

"We have reason to believe that in the next 20 years, AI will be deeply integrated with all industries and bring more profound industrial changes, just like the role of information technology in the previous 20 years", Xu Qingcai believes.

Viewpoint 6: AI creates a digital workforce for the world

One of the cases that have achieved initial results is Guogang Guangzhou Logistics Center, which has adopted AI technology and solutions. After adopting Megviif 3A intelligent logistics solution (AS/RS+AMR+AI) for digital intelligence upgrade, the overall efficiency of this logistics center has been improved by 25%, and the average operation completion time has been advanced by 2 hours per day, which will save tens of millions of RMB in the next five years.


At the same time, the labour intensity of warehouse staff is significantly reduced: each person initially had to move 30,000 pounds of goods per day, but now they are all handed over to AI robotic arms for palletizing; each person originally had to walk 30,000 steps per day, but now the AMR realizes cargo-to-person and cargo-to-robot picking; the original warehouse recruiting must find young solid people, but now they are not subject to such restrictions.


In this regard, Xu Qingcai said, "AI can not only help enterprises reduce costs and increase efficiency, but more importantly, create a digital workforce for the world." Nowadays, many countries around the world are facing the problem of declining birth rates; labour shortage is becoming more and more prominent. A digital workforce created by AI technology can fill in the gap and form an excellent mutual collaboration with people. For example, in some chemical raw material warehouses, dust is not suitable for the health of operators. However, now robots are used for automatic handling and storage, and people only need to supervise the operation and handle abnormal situations in the central control room.


In 2022, facing the critical opportunity of "AI+logistics", Megvii Robotics will continue to plow into critical industries such as medicine, footwear, new energy and intelligent manufacturing and work with users and partners to create more benchmark cases; continue to polish the AIoT product system with integrated software and hardware, including AI redefined logistics equipment, software platforms and solutions; and develop the "AI+logistics" products to meet the needs of the industry. "AI+logistics" products to more domestic and overseas partners to build a win-win "AI+logistics" ecology.


As Xu Qingcai said, "The road ahead may be long, but together, we will get there!"



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