MSRA and OOCL Embrace AI in Digital Transformation

 |   Microsoft News Center

Applying deep learning research to shipping network operations with a projected USD10 Million operation cost saving and nurturing AI engineer talent for Hong Kong

 
23 April 2018, Hong Kong – Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA), Microsoft’s world-class research arm, and Orient Overseas Container Line Limited (OOCL) announced their partnership in applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) research to improve network operations and achieve efficiencies within the shipping industry. The collaboration is expected to nurture over 200 AI developers over the next 12 months.

“Microsoft has been committed in providing cutting-edge AI solutions for companies across different industries to help drive digital transformation. With our Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge vision, we are partnering with selected top customers worldwide to accelerate the adoption of AI innovations into products and solutions that can be applied in real business contexts. The partnership between MSRA and OOCL demonstrates our strong progress in revolutionizing the shipping industry.” said Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong.

Engaging with Industries through AI Research and Domain Expertise

MSRA is Microsoft’s fundamental and applied research arm in the Asia Pacific region and the leading research community for core AI technologies including machine learning. It has access to cutting-edge technologies and the best researchers in the world who continue to invent new algorithms and solutions to push the start of the art and to fulfill different customer needs.

“MSRA is devoted to seeking broad and deep engagement opportunities with academic communities and vertical industries, in order to promote collaboration, cultivate innovation, advance education, and turn ideas into reality,” added Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, Chairman of Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific R&D Group, and Managing Director of Microsoft Research Asia. “Microsoft’s AI offering is a combination of technology, business model and user experience. Shipping network operations involve multiple parties and variables that can change at any moment. Embracing AI is a complex business challenge in digital transformation. MSRA’s AI research experts have joined forces with OOCL to optimize its existing shipping operations using deep and reinforcement learning, an R&D area that needs top AI researchers and domain experts for business impact validation.”

Driving Business Performance and Nurturing AI Talent through Partnership

OOCL has always been a pioneer in leveraging technology to make a real business impact and accelerate customer value, in which AI is the key in their digital transformation vision. The company has a talent base of over 1,000 developers located in San Jose, Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Shanghai and Manila. It has fully embraced a hybrid cloud infrastructure with auto-switching and auto-scaling throughout its businesses and machine learning for several years. For example, OOCL processes and analyzes over 30 million vessel data every month. By leveraging AI technology and machine learning, the company develops predictive analytics on vessel schedules and berth activities.

“With MSRA’s efforts and expertise, we expect to save around USD10 million in operation costs annually by applying the AI research and techniques for optimizing shipping network operations from our most recent 15-week engagement. Moving forward, we will embark on an 18-month joint-partnership in research and development to apply deep learning and reinforcement learning in shipping network operations. Moreover, MSRA will assist us in training over 200 AI engineers by conducting machine learning and deep learning sessions at the Hong Kong Science Park over the next 12 months. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with MSRA to leverage AI research and innovations to drive digital transformation in the shipping industry and to exchange knowledge among our top developers so that we can better address customer needs with advanced technologies and predictive analytics.” said Steve Siu, Chief Information Officer of OOCL and Chief Executive Officer of CargoSmart.

MSRA and OOCL today announced their partnership in applying AI research to improve network operations and achieve efficiencies within the shipping industry. Dr. David Chung, JP, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation joined as Guests of Honor.

(From left to right) Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong; Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, Chairman of Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific R&D Group, and Managing Director of MSRA; Steve Siu, Chief Information Officer of OOCL and Chief Executive Officer of CargoSmart; Dr. David Chung, JP, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation

Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong mentioned that with Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge vision, Microsoft is partnering with selected top customers worldwide to accelerate the adoption of AI innovations into products and solutions that can be applied in real business contexts. The partnership between MSRA and OOCL demonstrates the strong progress in revolutionizing the shipping industry.
Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, Chairman of Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific R&D Group, and Managing Director of MSRA is excited to have MSRA’s AI research experts to join forces with OOCL to optimize existing shipping operations using deep and reinforcement learning, an R&D area that needs top AI researchers and domain experts for business impact validation.
Steve Siu, Chief Information Officer of OOCL and CEO of CargoSmart, is looking forward to strengthening the partnership with MSRA to leverage AI research and innovations to drive digital transformation in the shipping industry and to exchange knowledge among our top developers so that they can better address customer needs with advanced technologies and predictive analytics.
Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP mentioned that there is a growing demand for data scientists, robotics and AI talent. He is excited to witness the partnership between MSRA and OOCL in nurturing AI talent, which is essential in building the clusters on AI and robotics technologies in Hong Kong.

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About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About Microsoft Research Asia
Microsoft Research Asia, Microsoft’s fundamental research arm in the Asia Pacific region, was founded in 1998 in Beijing. The lab conducts both basic and applied research in areas central to Microsoft’s long-term strategy and future computing vision: natural user interfaces, next-generation multimedia, data-intensive computing, search and online advertising and Computer science fundamentals. Large number of technologies from Microsoft Research Asia have been transferred to Microsoft core products, including Office, Windows, Azure, Bing, Visual Studio, Xbox Kinect, as well as AI products such as XiaoIce, Cortana, Microsoft Translator and etc. For more information, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/lab/microsoft-research-asia/

 About Orient Overseas Container Line Limited
“Orient Overseas Container Line” and “OOCL” are trade names for transportation provided separately by: Orient Overseas Container Line Limited (“OOCLL”) and OOCL (Europe) Limited respectively and both are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Orient Overseas (International) Limited, a public company (0316) listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Headquartered in Hong Kong, OOCL is one of the world’s largest integrated international container transportation and logistics companies, with more than 360 offices in 70 countries. Linking Asia, Europe, North America, the Mediterranean, the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East and Australia/New Zealand, the company offers transportation services to all major east/west trading economies of the world. OOCL is one of the leading international carriers serving China, providing a full range of logistics and transportation services throughout the country. It is also an industry leader in the use of information technology and e-commerce to manage the entire cargo process. (http://www.oocl.com/)

For more information, please contact:
Microsoft Hong Kong
Chin Tang Chin
Tel: (852) 2804 4266
E-mail: [email protected]

BlueCurrent for Microsoft
Winyee Lai
Tel: (852) 2586 7884
E-mail: [email protected]