China’s Ministry of Education last week issued its AI Innovation Action Plan for Colleges and Universities to the education departments at all levels and institutions of higher education. This action plan aims to advance China’s universities to world frontiers in science and technology; energize their capabilities in AI technological innovation, talent cultivation, and global cooperation; and provide strategic support for the development of next-generation AI in China.
The plan sets three goals for the next 12 years:
- Fundamentally optimize the infrastructure of colleges and universities to spark technological innovations and adapt to the next generation of AI development by 2020;
- Develop achievements with a substantial global impact and deliver first-class theoretical research, innovative technologies, and applications by 2025;
- Make Chinese colleges and universities the world’s leading AI innovation centres and a hotbed for AI talent by 2030;
The plan further proposes establishing a set of one hundred “AI+X” specialization categories by 2020, with specific goals to:
- Compile 50 world-class teaching materials for undergraduate and graduate studies.
- Develop 50 national-level high-quality online open courses.
- Establish 50 artificial intelligence faculties, research institutions, or interdisciplinary research centres.
China sees AI as the state’s innovation focus, which will spark technological breakthroughs and stroke national pride. In July 2017, the State Council issued the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan and listed “accelerating the education of top-notch AI talents” as a primary task.
Last week, China’s Ministry of Education, Sinovation Ventures, and Peking University jointly launched the country’s first university program — Global AI Talent Training Program for Chinese Universities — to educate over 500 teachers and 5,000 students with AI expertise within the next five years.
The latest action plan can be viewed as a supplement to this program, with the same ultimate goal of putting the State Council’s Development Plan into practice and making China a world leader in the field of AI by 2030.
Author: Mos Zhang | Editor: Tony Peng, Michael Sarazen