Xu Li, 36
The first unicorn to emerge from Hong Kong, SenseTime—often referred to as the world’s most valuable A.I. startup, with its valuation of $4.5 billion—was founded in 2014 by a group of academics at Hong Kong University. They brought in Xu, a Ph.D. in computer science with expertise in computer vision, to commercialize the idea. Xu has led SenseTime to the forefront of facial recognition tech, providing solutions for surveillance systems—the Chinese government is a big customer—as well as more than 700 corporate clients.
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