Recently, Yuan Li’s team developed an AI office assistant tool called "ChatEXCEL." Members of the team include Assistant Professor Yuan Li from the School of Electronic and Computer Engineering of PKUSZ and three of his graduate and doctoral students. They are all from the post-90s generation and the post-00s generation. WithChatEXCEL, the use of Excel can be realized through text chats. The beta version ofChatEXCEL was released on February 28, 2023. Notably, within only 2 weeks, the peak daily active users of the public beta reached 110,000 unique IPs and the number of cumulative visits has already exceeded 2 million.
Traditionally, if the users of Excel want to perform mathematical, statistical, and logical operations, they have to learn Excel functions and formulas. Excel is useful in processing data. However, learning to use Excel could be complex and time-consuming. Therefore, Yuan's team is trying to develop an AI software that will simplify the complex operations. This means that the users ofChatEXCEL can directly get the processed data by chatting with the software. All they have to do is text their requirements to the software, saving additional operations. It is expected thatwith the help ofChatEXCEL, accountants, teachers, and people of other occupations will work more easily.
Yuan’s main research areas include computer vision, deep neural network architecture design, and machine learning. As a teacher of the post-90s generation, Yuan is both a friend and a teacher to his students. He hopes that his students can freely choose the direction they are interested in in the field of artificial intelligence. Now, he has really fulfilled his expectations for students:ChatEXCEL was born from the idea of one of his students. After understanding the idea, Yuan led the team to research and iterate, and finally made ChatGPT popular all over the Internet.
The School of Electronic and Computer Engineering is the earliest school to establish in PKUSZ. It is also the leading school in the implementation of the “AI for Science (AI4S)” strategy of PKUSZ. The AI4S strategy aims to solve scientific problems in complex scenarios by processing large amounts of multidimensional and multimodal data through scientific big data and artificial intelligence technologies. Currently, PKUSZ has set up an introductory course on Intelligent Science (AI4S) for the first time among domestic universities in the fall semester of 2022. Moreover,ChatEXCEL is a vivid example of how AI is closely connected with science and with our daily life. Yuan said that the team has expanded the server capacity to optimize the product so thatChatEXCEL can help more people in their work.
Translate by DU Wenran
Edit by XU Aijian