Chinese search engine Sogou is further developing the smart hardware business with a focus on language-centric artificial intelligence, aiming to gain a key edge in the burgeoning AI market.
Sogou CEO Wang Xiaochuan said the company hopes for a future in which everyone will have a voice assistant, seeing the smart hardware as one of the company's new growth drivers.
"We expect our AI voice recorder will be the top brand in the market this year," Wang said during Sogou's annual AI ceremony held on Thursday in Beijing. "The boom in AI technologies will help transform and upgrade the traditional hardware industries. Availing our own technological advantages, we will continue to develop language-centric AI projects."
The company has recently launched its dictation service for third-party voice recorder companies. It has also founded a voice recorder AI innovation alliance with several brands, including MSC Group.
The alliance aims to revitalize and transform the traditional voice recorder industry by integrating traditional hardware devices with transcription services, based on Sogou's language-centric AI technologies and machine learning capabilities.
Sogou's dictation service will be fully compatible with over 90 percent of existing voice recorder products on the market, and will provide a hardware and service ecosystem that benefits consumers, the company said.
Sogou claimed its mobile keyboard had 464 million daily average users during the third quarter. And the mobile keyboard app processed up to 830 million daily voice requests.
Sogou reported its revenue increased 14 percent year-on-year to $314.9 million in the third quarter this year.
In the third quarter, the company's net income reached $36.6 million, up by 53 percent year-on-year.
Wang Xiaochuan said the company achieved healthy top- and bottom-line growth despite headwinds in the macro environment and the online advertising industry, adding language-centric AI technologies play an essential role across the firm's core businesses.
"In the rest of 2019, we expect the slowing macro and online advertising sentiment to continue, as well as the ongoing tightening regulation in the Internet sector. To navigate the environment, we will focus on building our high-quality search platform and driving organic traffic growth, as well as delivering positive momentum in our new growth drivers, including Recommendation Service and Smart Hardware." Wang noted.
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