Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: CES 2019: The Big Trends for Business

CES 2019: Intel and Alibaba partner on artificial intelligence

Alibaba is combining its cloud with upcoming Intel hardware to use AI algorithms and compute power for 3D athlete tracking.

Intel, non-profits aim to use AI-enabled camera to curb poaching

Intel and Alibaba have announced a partnership on developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology using Intel hardware and the Alibaba cloud at CES 2019.

The two companies said they will use the AI tech for 3D-tracking of athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The companies are combining deep-learning algorithms such as advanced pose modelling techniques with computer vision via multiple cameras to generate a "3D mesh" digital model, allowing coaches to extract biomechanical data during training and competition "without the use of special sensors or suits", Intel said at CES in Las Vegas on Monday.

"Optimised to run on Alibaba Cloud infrastructure, Intel developed a novel technology concept called 3D Athlete Tracking that uses AI to analyse video of athletes in ways that are expected to improve both the training process and has the potential to enhance the audience experience during actual competition," Intel Data Center Group executive vice president and general manager Navin Shenoy said.

Shenoy added that it will also provide broadcasters with the ability to "analyse, dissect, and re-examine highlights during instant replays".


Intel said it also worked with Alibaba on its Singles Day event in November, which saw the latter chalk up 213.5 billion yuan -- $30.8 billion -- in gross merchandise volume through its 24-hour shopping event.

 "Alibaba deployed Intel's latest processor and memory technology to help power the 11.11 Alibaba Global Shopping Festival," Intel said.

"The Alibaba Global Shopping Festival places a lot of demands on Alibaba Cloud's infrastructure to perform real-time processing of massive spikes of data and to support heavy amounts of traffic visiting its web site. To meet the computing demand, Alibaba deployed next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors along with Intel Optane DC persistent memory in its production environment."

Back in September, Intel and Alibaba also launched a Joint Edge Computing Platform, which is an open architecture integrating Intel's software, hardware, and AI technologies with Alibaba Cloud IoT products.

Intel also used CES 2019 to announce a partnership with Comcast on 10-gigabit cable standards and 1-gigabit Wi-Fi 6 technology, as well as new PC innovations and products.

Disclosure: Corinne Reichert travelled to CES 2019 in Las Vegas as a guest of Intel.

More CES 2019 coverage: