Artificial intelligence has become the driving force for a vibrant round of industrial transformations in China and around the world. Many countries and enterprises see the AI revolution as an excellent opportunity to promote strong domestic economic and technological development.
Last month, a group of artificial intelligence pioneers from 12 Chinese AI institutions published the perspective paper Towards a New Generation of Artificial Intelligence in China in the respected journal Nature Machine Intelligence. This is the first such survey on the full scope of AI in China. The paper looks at the New Generation Artificial Intelligence (NGAI) Development Plan of China (2015– 2030), which was published in 2017 as a blueprint for the rapid construction of a complete Chinese AI ecosystem.
Many of the new perspective paper’s authors participated in different stages of the NGAI Plan, which outlines national strategies for science and technology as well as education, and identifies a range of related challenges to be overcome.
The authors approach the subject from the following four perspectives:
- An AI plan for a new generation
- Collaboration between universities, government and industry
- Areas of attention
- Challenges and opportunities
China’s new generation AI plan puts its focus on transforming big data into structured knowledge and supporting human decision making. It’s believed this will be achieved through a wide and free collaboration between many different institutes and enterprises. The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology has established 15 National Open Innovation Platforms and plans to construct some 20 new National NGAI Development Experimental Zones by 2023. The main focus areas here will be on AI for everyday consumers, AI in autonomous driving, AI in the medical industry and conversational AI for the Internet of things (IoT).
The authors explore a number of opportunities and challenges in contemporary Chinese AI development. In recent years China has built a solid AI foundation, especially in areas such as face and speech recognition, visual recognition and Chinese-language information processing. Meanwhile, China’s Internet population of some 840 million netizens ensures a huge market for new AI applications. Challenges facing Chinese AI include a shortage of high-tech talent, the still immature AI ecosystem, and finding solutions to AI ethical issues.
The paper Towards a New Generation of Artificial Intelligence in China is in Nature.
Author: Yuqing Li | Editor: Michael Sarazen; Fangyu Cai
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