Community Blog HEROZ Creates a Professional AI Shogi Service with Alibaba Cloud Function Compute

HEROZ Creates a Professional AI Shogi Service with Alibaba Cloud Function Compute

This short article introduces HEROZ, its shogi gaming app, and how the company uses Function Compute (FC) to solve its pain points.

By Jiyuan


HEROZ is an AI company founded in April 2009. With its AI development expertise in shogi and chess, HEROZ offers a solution called HEROZKishin to solve various challenges faced by enterprises. Its implementation instances include energy management, stock forecasting, and supply chain management optimization. The company also released Shogi Wars, a gaming app that leverages shogi AI expertise.

In May 2022, HEROZE released a new service called Kishin Analytics. This product leverages the latest shogi AI to support shogi research. It can run on a browser and be used by anyone without a high-performance computer. It aims to assist many shogi enthusiasts, including professional players and profession-oriented trainees. Previously, only a few professional players could use expensive computers to improve their shogi skills. Now, Kishin Analytics provides a low-cost yet high-quality shogi AI analysis service that is available for everyone on Alibaba Cloud Function Compute (FC).

Pain Points

HEROZKishin originally provided AI services with the GPUs of Elastic Computing Service, but there are still some problems that have been bothering HEROZ:

  • As the workload of server O&M increases with the growing number of users, the time cost and resource costs of O&M personnel are gradually increasing.
  • Elastic computing instances cannot achieve effective scaling management during peak and off-peak traffic periods. Therefore, user experience during the peak period is unsatisfactory.
  • The cost would be high if elastic computing instances are retained for a long time. A lot of computing power would be wasted during off-peak hours. This would lead to a waste of cost.


HEROZ provides AI services using Alibaba Cloud FC CPU and GPU accelerated instances to solve the preceding problems. FC is a function-oriented Serverless FaaS platform that provides leading GPU instances that are O&M-free, pay-as-you-go, and support high-performance instance popping.

The following advantages are the perfect solution to HEROZ's pain points:

  • O&M-Free IaaS: As a Serverless service, FC eliminates underlying server management.
  • High Elasticity: FC provides elasticity within seconds. It can be quickly scaled out during traffic peaks to cope with peak pressure.
  • Cost Optimization: FC charges based on the usage time of CPUs or GPUs. Instances do not need to be maintained for a long time, thus reducing the cost during the non-usage period.


FC offers the following benefits:

  • Stability: FC relies on Alibaba Cloud's powerful Serverless to ensure stable business services without major failures.
  • Improved User Experience and Reduced User Churn: FC can provide traffic-based and scheduled scaling to help HEROZ scale out in a short period without affecting user experience. This prevents user churns caused by prolonged server preparation.
  • Lower Costs: HEROZ does not need to purchase and manage infrastructure (such as servers), thus reducing O&M costs. In addition, FC's second scale-out allows HEROZ to spend the shortest time expanding computing power, which can effectively control costs.

Customer Testimonials

Mr. Kano (Chief Engineer of Kishin Analytics, developer of the AI shogi engine, and two-time Shogi World Champion) said, “FC has helped us reduce the cost of IaaS resources. We look forward to the new GPU-accelerated A10 service function instances and expect to provide more high-performance services for professional shogi players. HEROZ will continue to focus on its unique AI HEROZ Kishin, conduct research and development in deep learning and other machine learning, and apply them to business. HEROZ aims to create the future by leading AI revolutions.”

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