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Published: 11:02, December 13, 2022 | Updated: 14:01, December 13, 2022
AI-powered 'boss', staff getting along thanks to HK-listed firm
By Cheng Yu
Published:11:02, December 13, 2022 Updated:14:01, December 13, 2022 By Cheng Yu

Tang Yu, an AI-powered virtual humanoid robot, now works as the rotating CEO of NetDragon Websoft Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed mobile and online gaming developer. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

It is Monday morning in Beijing as a newly appointed boss discusses problems with staff in the United States and Russia. While you may be surprised at how one manager could accomplish so much simultaneously, a more surprising fact is that this new "boss" is actually an artificial intelligence-enabled robot.

NetDragon Websoft Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed Chinese mainland mobile and online gaming developer, appointed Tang Yu, an AI-powered virtual humanoid robot, as its rotating CEO in September. Tang has been responsible for organizational management and public relations of its metaverse business since then.

By putting a virtual humanoid at the top of the management team, NetDragon said it aims "to pioneer the use of AI to transform corporate management and leapfrog operational efficiency to a new level".

"AI is the future of corporate management, and the appointment represents our commitment to truly embracing the use of AI to transform the way we operate our business, and ultimately drive our future strategic growth," said Liu Dejian, chairman of NetDragon.

"Looking forward, we will continue to expand on our algorithms behind Tang to build an open, interactive and highly transparent management model as we gradually transform to a metaverse-based working community," Liu said, adding that it will enable the company to attract a much broader base of talent worldwide and put it in position to achieve bigger goals.

NetDragon Websoft has gained a solid reputation with games such as Eudemons Online, Heroes Evolved, Conquer Online and Under Oath, and entered the metaverse sector last year.

According to the company, Tang will streamline the process flow, enhance the quality of work tasks and improve the speed of execution. She will also serve as a real-time data hub and analytical tool to support rational decision-making in daily operations, as well as enable a more effective risk management system.

For instance, the digital human CEO is able to simplify low-creativity tasks such as filling out paperwork, thus enabling employees to focus more on high-value matters, said Yu Le, head of NetDragon's digital human program.

"Also, when she finds from data that some employees have recently worked longer hours, or their performance might be relatively less than excellent, she will talk to them in a caring way, and form a report to give feedback to their leaders at the same time," Yu said.

"In fact, many employees of Net-Dragon are more willing to express their demands or put forward their suggestions to the digital CEO," he added.

NetDragon said the AI team that Tang is in has been helping to deal with more than 300,000 pending matters, issued nearly 500,000 transaction reminders and early warnings, and completed around 1,300 internal rewards and demerits. Notably, 90 percent of NetDragon's leave review is managed by the AI team.

However, Yu also pointed out that Tang still needs a long process of data accumulation before she can develop independent learning and decision-making abilities.

He Jingwei contributed to this story.

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