China artificial intelligence technology startup Moviebook Technology Co., Ltd. says it has raised new investment from state-owned funds from Beijing and Tianjin.
Moviebook didn't provide details regarding the amount. Its existing shareholders include China International Capital Corp., China Galaxy Securities, Zhongtai Securities, State Development & Investment Corp. and other government organizations.
Virtual Entertainers Take To The Stage
Based on computer vision technology, Moviebook provides smart image production services and aims to expand the video production industry to digital content.
Computer vision technology - or smart image technology - is an artificial intelligence technology that allows computers to interpret and understand the visual world. Using digital images from cameras and videos, computers can identify and classify what they "see" and can react. It has been applied in Hollywood over the past decade and it is forcing the media industry to transform.
State-run CCTV debuted the country's first artificial intelligence virtual anchor in 2018 at China's World Internet Conference. The news anchor was modeled on a real presenter. By learning from video broadcast videos, a virtual artificial intelligence anchor could staff the news desk 24 hours a day.
The news agency unveiled the virtual anchor technology in August after it gained attention for launching an artificial intelligence sports anchor with the support of Moviebook.
Based on artificial intelligence image recognition technology, Moviebook introduced a "feature-based recommendation system framework" - which emphasizes the importance of news value, integrates public opinion and social effects into the algorithm and models news value. The technology, essentially, can reconcile news value with users' preference, according to apnews.com.
China's market in the computer vision field was $1.46 billion in 2019, accounting for nearly half of the $2.89 billion in the nation's entire artificial intelligence software and application market, according to International Data Corp.
Artificial intelligence is in China's government strategic plan for several years and computer vision technology is seen as a big part of the future of the news media and entertainment industry.
An Intelligent Revolution Shakes The Media Foundation
In 2018, Moviebook forged a strategic agreement with one of the world's highest-valued artificial intelligence companies, SenseTime, which led Moviebook's $197.5 million fundraising. The funding round involved SoftBank China Venture Capital, PAC Partners, Qianhai Wutong M&A Fund, LanXESS, OPG and other investment institutions and strategic partners.
It set a record in the artificial intelligence image production sector at the time and was considered SenseTime's most significant strategic investment to date.
The cooperation with SenseTime was to "build a commercial channel for artificial intelligence technology geared toward the large entertainment industry" based on the underlying artificial intelligence technologies such as augmented reality and video analysis.
The technology SenseTime provided to the cooperation is SenseMedia Internet Broadcast Video Content Detection Solution and SenseAR augmented reality rendering platform, according to the company's website.
Analysts said the two companies attempted to seize new market opportunities with mega video data not only from traditional channels like TV but also from entertaining livestreaming videos - which have been growing rapidly along with 5G development in the nation.
Moviebook brings change to the cost structure of the media entertainment industry - replacing a large number of "tedious" human work such as dressing, production and shooting and achieving "relative industrialization," Moviebook founder Ji Xiaochen said.
The world entertainment industry is estimated to have revenues of $2.6 trillion by 2021 - to which China will contribute more than $1.5 trillion, according to Statista.
Largely owing to government incentives, many China enterprises have been encouraged to enter the artificial intelligence world. Nearly 100 China enterprises, as of the first half of 2020, have set up artificial intelligence-related laboratories and research institutes. China now has more than 260 artificial intelligence enterprises.
The artificial intelligence software and application market in China is expected to reach $12.75 billion by 2024 - a compound annual growth rate of 39.9% across a six-year period, according to market intelligence company International Data Corp.