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China spearheads worldwide wave of artificial intelligence

Updated: Feb 22,2018 4:30 PM

China has been witnessing an enormous boom in artificial intelligence (AI), highlighting 592 specialized enterprises, with the lump sum amount of their financing reaching $1 billion by June 30, 2017, marking second place in the global market, People’s Daily reported on Feb 22.

Taking the lead

According to related data, Al enterprises totaled 2,542 worldwide by June 2017, among which the US, topping the list of ownership, took up 42.4 percent, and China was next in line, representing 23.3 percent.

China has made considerable groundbreaking achievements in this field. For instance, the deep learning network developed by Baidu was certified with a 99.84 percent accuracy rate in face recognition. Additionally, Tencent championed a similar test sponsored by MegaFace, an authority in this particular domain.

Immense potential

China’s Al market has been growing at a speed of nearly 50 percent annual increase. This commendable development stems from an in-depth combination of Al technologies and computers, the internet, and big data, as well as traditional industries featuring manufacturing, said Tao Jianhua, vice-director at the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

China’s economic development is being challenged by pressure in deepening supply-side structural reform, so further applications of Al should be stepped up in a bid to cultivate this emerging industry as a new driver for economic growth, said Cheng Weili, a researcher at the State Information Center.

Adjustments expected

As pointed out by experts, a period of adjustments is expected in the Al market for the sake of high-quality development.

It takes time for the development of China’s Al market to get on the right track, and it is a necessity to weed out enterprises with substandard products in order to navigate the Al industry in a benign trajectory, said Sun Lining, vice-director at the State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System.

National blueprint

According to a report in Science Magazine, by the year 2045, half the jobs around the globe will be done by Al, and in China, 77 percent will be done by AI. Meanwhile, a report by Accenture said Al is expected to bring a 27-percent rise in China’s productivity and a $ 7.1 trillion increase in the gross economic added-value in this country by 2035.

A slew of policies, including “Made in China 2025”, have been issued, reflecting that the Chinese government put Al at top of the agenda for its economic growth.

According to the latest plan for Al development by the State Council, China’s Al industry is aimed at surpassing a total output value of 1 trillion yuan ($157.3 billion) by 2030. China should attach more importance to cultivating Al professionals in this vein, said Tao.