Alumni Kaleidoscope: Zhang Weibin - PhD (ECE)
A recipient of the Hong Kong government PhD Fellowship, Weibin took just three years to complete his Electronic and Computer Engineering doctorate program at HKUST. After graduation, he became an Associate Professor at South China University of Technology and published over ten SCI/EI papers. He is presently the Chief Scientific Officer of VoiceAI Technologies, a Shenzhen voice recognition business he co-founded in 2016 with fellow HKUST alum and friend Chen Dongpeng.
VoiceAI is a start-up firm focused on using artificial intelligence and Big Data to create world-leading and innovative voice recognition applications. Since its founding, VoiceAI’s client roster spans an array of sectors, such as finance, government agencies, network and IoT corporates; notable clients who use VoiceAI’s products include the China’s Ministry of Public Security, Ping An, ICBC, Hengfeng Bank, Indonesia’s National Pension Fund TASPEN, and over a hundred Chinese enterprises. With its proven competencies, VoiceAI has completed a RMB 100 million series A of financing in 2020, led by Forebright Capital.
Priding itself on technology that benefits the wider community, VoiceAI’s work for TASPEN is a perfect example of that ethos. Utilizing advanced voice recognition features, TASPEN’s phone and mobile apps can distribute pension funds to 2.5 million Indonesian pensioners via voice authentication. This greatly reduces the opportunity for fraud and the need for the elderly to travel potentially long distances to obtain their pension money.
Explaining his reasons for starting his own business, Weibin replied, “My appetite for risk and awareness that there’s huge unmet demand for human voice recognition applications.” Along with advances in the technology, it helped that 2018 was the year the market for voice recognition really took off, therefore propelling VoiceAI on its triumphant path. The Chief Scientific Officer also gives plenty of credit to the HKUST community: “The international nature of the university truly broadened my horizons, and the school atmosphere fosters a spirit of entrepreneurship. Finally, both faculty and alumni proved to be excellent resources, and the road blazed by other successful HKUST start-ups was a big boost and help.”
Know more about VoiceAI and Weibin: