Two Alibaba Innovators Receive MIT Tech Review Honors

The Alibaba employee who fended off one of the world’s largest DDoS hacking attacks and another who spearheaded development of a new voice-activated and controlled artificial intelligence product were Wednesday named to the 2017 MIT Technology Review’s list of top Innovators Under 35.

On the publication’s list are Wang Gang, a leading researcher at Alibaba A.I. Labs, and Wu Hanqing, chief security scientist at Alibaba Cloud. The list recognizes talented technologists whose work has the potential to transform the world.

“We are excited about the news, and it is our honor to have two talented people from Alibaba recognized on the list,” said Jeff Zhang, Alibaba Group chief technical officer. “Wang’s contributions to developing cutting-edge technologies to empower next-generation artificial intelligence applications, and Wu’s efforts in designing world-class internet security systems and helping small businesses defend against cyberattacks, make them true pioneers in their fields.”

Wang leads the artificial intelligence lab’s research efforts in computer vision, natural language processing, speech recognition and machine learning. One of his recent, tangible contributions is the Tmall Genie, the first voice-controlled smart device produced by the A.I. Labs and released last month.

Wang joined Alibaba from  School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He’s a recipient of the Harriett & Robert Perry Fellowship, the CS/AI award, best paper awards from PREMIA and top 10 percent paper awards from MMSP.

Wu joined Alibaba in 2005, acting as the company’s early security expert. He was also one of the key people involved in designing the security architecture of Apsara, the self-developed cloud operating system of Alibaba Cloud. Wu was named Alibaba Cloud’s  Chief Security Scientist in 2014, leading the team that defeated one of the world’s largest DDoS attacks that same year. He

Wu also led development of “Alibaba Cloud Security,” a security service that protected over 37% of China’s websites by end-2016.  His innovation of a unique DDoS mitigation solution, or Elastic Security Network scheme, enables small to medium-sized companies to fend off massive DDoS attacks with limited resources.

“Over the years, we’ve had success in recognizing young innovators whose will change how the world thinks about what technology can do,” said MIT Technology Review editor David Rotman. “Past honorees include Larry Page  and Sergey Brin, Google’s cofounders. Mark Zuckerberg, the cofounder of Facebook; and Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple. We’re proud of our selections and the variety of achievements they celebrate, and we’re proud to add Wang Gang and Wu Hangqing to this prestigious list.”

Alibaba Group is a leader in innovation and technology, with research and development in areas including cloud computing, quantum communications, biometric recognition, machine learning, image processing and speech recognition. Alibaba Group recently launched Alibaba Innovative Research (AIR), a new global program to support collaborations with global academics and researchers promoting innovation in science and technology.

The full list of MIT Technology Review honorees went up online Wednesday and will appear in the September/October print magazine, which hits newsstands worldwide on August 29. They will appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference November 6–9 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.