Our reporter Sun Qiru

  A few years ago, AlphaGo (the first artificial intelligence robot to defeat the world champion of Go) played against human players and won many times.

Today, chess-like AI robots have begun to enter the home, which is regarded as an important attempt by the AI ​​industry to transform into consumer-level applications to solve the problem of profitability.

  Chess robot enters the house

  Want to play chess, but suffer from the fact that no one in the family can have considerable chess skills to play chess?

A few days ago, the artificial intelligence software company SenseTime released the "Yuanrui Sense-Robot" AI chess-playing robot. The PRO version of this robot is priced at 2499 yuan and the standard version is priced at 1999 yuan.

This is also the first artificial intelligence product of SenseTime to enter the field of household consumption.

  From the appearance, the chess robot has a head with a screen that can be interacted with. An antenna extending from the fuselage carries the robot's "eyes", and a small robotic arm acts as a "hand" for holding stones.

Shen Hui, Dean of SenseTime Science and Technology Innovation Engineering Institute, introduced that after 9 versions of product iterations, the R&D personnel still retain the form of a "mechanical arm", hoping that it can have "hands" and carry out activities with children like a real friend. interact.

  This robot includes AI learning chess, endgame challenge, chess power breakthrough, peak challenge and other modes. It can introduce and explain chess culture, rules and the use skills of each chess piece to children from zero basis. While exercising thinking ability, it also Can improve children's cultural literacy.

In addition, it can also bring more than 100 endgame settings and 26 levels of chess power battles, allowing users to experience the real feeling of "playing chess with pieces", and use their brains to experience high-level chess games.

  Xu Li, CEO of SenseTime, said at the press conference that industrial-grade robotic arms are being widely used in factory workshops in the manufacturing industry. They are large and heavy, cost hundreds of thousands of yuan, and have certain safety hazards, but industrial-grade robotic arms and Real-world interactivity goes deeper than many consumer electronics products.

"Yuanrui SenseRobot" reduces some of the technical standards of industrial robotic arms in design, and increases the adaptability to home scenarios.

  At present, this chess-playing robot can achieve "hand-eye coordination", achieve millimeter-level operation accuracy, and ensure smooth operation and accurate placement during chess games.

At the same time, it is also "full of experience" and has been authorized and authorized by the Chess and Card Management Center of the State Sports General Administration and the Chinese Chess Association to provide users with professional chess courses.

  The dilemma behind the stock price shock

  "If you have to build a robot for something that can be solved by an APP, do you think there is too much space at home?" "I think this thing is at least better than playing games on a mobile phone." It's fun, how to buy"...Although the AI ​​chess-playing robot has mixed reviews on the Internet, the pre-orders of more than 400 pieces in the flagship stores of JD.com and Tmall within four days after its release have not yet shown a "popular" temperament, but it is not A few people in the industry believe that the launch of consumer-grade products for the first time means that SenseTime, which has been deeply engaged in the to B (enterprise-grade) business in the past, has made adjustments in its business strategy.

  More than a month ago, SenseTime, which has been listed in Hong Kong stocks for half a year, experienced a huge stock price shock.

On June 30, the day of the huge lifting of the ban on SenseTime, the stock price plummeted by nearly 50%, falling below the issue price.

When it just landed in the capital market at the end of last year, SenseTime doubled its share price a few days after its listing, and its total market value at its peak exceeded HK$320 billion.

On August 12, Shangtang’s share price was HK$2.23, with a total market value of HK$74.72 billion.

Although it has rebounded slightly compared to the lowest point, the total market value has still evaporated by nearly 200 billion yuan compared with the peak of the market value.

  Behind the hugely fluctuating share price of SenseTime, the profitability problems of the AI ​​industry are also highlighted: on the one hand, the research and development expenses remain high, on the other hand, the industry faces many problems such as fragmented application scenarios, low repurchase rate, and limited gross profit margin.

According to the 2021 fiscal year annual report released by SenseTime in April this year, the net loss for the whole year was 17.17 billion yuan, and the loss was more than 40% larger than that in 2020.

Not only SenseTime, but also Yuncong Technology, a listed company on the Sci-Tech Innovation Board, which is listed with SenseTime in the "Four AI Tigers", has accumulated losses of more than 2 billion yuan in the three years from 2019 to 2021.

  "Everyone's expectations for AI companies are like a long jump, as if they are walking a parabola. When it has passed the highest point of the parabola of expected value, people will naturally expect it to achieve good revenue performance." A person in the technology investment industry Investors who have been in the industry for more than ten years told reporters that compared with the scale and rhythm of corporate financing under the previous capital boom, some star AI companies prematurely advanced people's growth expectations for AI companies, but failed to come up with high expectations. It is not difficult to understand that the stock price fluctuates in terms of profitability and landing performance.

  The competition for enterprise-level applications intensifies

  According to Pan Helin, co-director and researcher of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center of Zhejiang University International Business School, the technical complexity of chess AI in the AI ​​industry is not high. It is said that the launch of the chess AI robot has the meaning of "training and training".

He believes that if a company wants to use AI to make profits, it must be unique in AI computing power, algorithms and data. At the same time, it is the future of the AI ​​industry that both the B-side and the C-side should focus on it.

  Wang Peng, a researcher at the Intelligent Social Governance Research Center of Renmin University of China, believes that many AI companies such as SenseTime have entered the to B fields such as security and smart cities in the early stage, but as time goes by, the number of participants and competitors in the industry is increasing. .

In the absence of large-scale breakthroughs in the application scenarios of the enterprise-level market, fierce competition means more competition for channel advantages, services and costs, which will lead to a decline in yields.

Therefore, cutting into the to C (consumer-grade) market has become an option.

  At present, in the revenue structure of SenseTime, smart business and smart city account for more than 80% of the revenue, while the revenue of smart life and smart car is relatively small.

Recently, SenseTime announced a strategic cooperation with GAC Group to accelerate the development and mass production of smart cars.

The launch of the chess robot for the home consumer market this time may become another exploration direction for it to face the profit dilemma.