Chinese online streaming service iQiyi says A.I. has enhanced efficiency throughout its business


Wang Xuepu, VP of iQIYI speaks with Qian Chen, reporter of CNBC in Nansha, Guangzhou, China.

Zhong Zhi | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Wang Xuepu, vice president of Chinese online video streaming company iQiyi told CNBC on Tuesday that artificial intelligence has enhanced the company’s efficiency in all aspects of the business.

“Now we can cut thousands of hours of work to just hours,” Wang said in Mandarin at CNBC’s East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China.

He said that the company is using AI across its business like adding subtitles or integrating multimedia more quickly. Wang added AI has increased efficiency in the company’s operations in many ways, including content creation, approval processes and market distribution.

“iQiyi embodies the culture of Silicon Valley and culture of Hollywood. We really put an emphasis on technology development. More than half of our employees work in the technical side. We have invested in AI significantly. More than 60% of our patent submissions this year were related AI,” said Wang.

Wang said, for example, iQiyi has been able to predict the popularity of films and TV shows before taking them online by using big data.

“We can use AI to help forecast film and TV series’ viewer numbers before they are aired. With the data, we can predict the traffic and for TV series and that accuracy rate is 88%, with films we can reach near 90% accuracy,” he said, according to a CNBC translation.

The implementation of artificial intelligence in iQiyi’s business has helped the company select the right films to take online, he said, which has reduced cost and enhanced return on investment.

As of Dec. 31, iQiyi had 86.1 million subscribing members, according to the company’s annual SEC filing.

He said another technology to watch out for is the introduction of 5G. Wang said that 4G internet changed the way viewers consume content as it enabled faster streaming speeds and greater mobility. But he argued that 5G will change the industry even more dramatically, especially in the way content creators work.

Wang said 5G will reduce upload times, increasing fluidity in working with multiple productions and deliver higher definition content for viewers.

Developments in 5G will also allow streaming companies to better experiment with virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, he said. Wang also predicted that faster internet will enable more advanced real-time streaming and innovation in cloud computing games.


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