AI gains more ground in China

A humanoid robot named Walker X plays Chinese chess at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai in June 2021. [Photo/CHINA DAILY]

Artificial intelligence, a key technology driving digital transformation, is playing an increasingly important role in accelerating China’s drive toward industrial upgrading and promoting the deep integration of the digital economy and the real economy, business leaders and experts said. .

Significant progress has been made in the development of China’s artificial intelligence industry, with technological innovation capabilities in some areas ranked among the best in the world, they said.

A report from Stanford University showed that China filed more than half of the world’s AI patent applications last year and the nation continued to lead the world in the number of AI-related journals, conference papers and publications.

The report says that Chinese researchers have been the most prolific in recent years, publishing 27.5 percent of all AI journal articles worldwide, while researchers from the United States accounted for 12 percent. . Articles in Chinese journals also outperformed those in other nations in terms of citations, an indicator of their scientific importance.

Official data showed that the value of China’s major AI industries exceeds 400 billion yuan (56.6 billion U.S. dollars) and the number of related companies exceeds 3,000, with breakthroughs in key technologies such as smart chips and frameworks. open source. .

Chinese tech companies have invested heavily in AI-based research and development. In 2017, Baidu was chosen to lead the establishment of the national deep learning artificial intelligence laboratory. Autonomous driving technologies are important to this national research project.

Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu, said the application of artificial intelligence technology is reshaping the industry landscape and will be a transformative force that will revolutionize development for the next 40 years.

The goal of the intelligent transformation of industries and society brought by AI is to meet people’s needs, making the technology meaningful only if it serves humanity by creating more value and contributing to society, Li said.

“Baidu’s approach to AI technology has always revolved around delivering equitable results by making technology more accessible, providing freedom and possibilities for all,” Li said.

The Beijing-based company has filed more than 22,000 AI-related patent applications worldwide as of April, of which more than 16,000 patents have been applied for in China, and has been granted more than 4,600 AI-related patents. AI in the country.

Tech heavyweight Tencent Holdings launched its AI Lab in April 2016. It emphasizes basic research in computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing and machine learning.

The technology firm works to put fundamental research to practical use, applying AI to its key businesses, including medicine, social interaction, online gaming and cloud computing. It also operates Youtu Lab, which has developed advanced technologies in facial and image recognition and voice identification.

Zhou Hongyi, founder of cybersecurity company 360 Security Group, stressed the importance of driving the digital transformation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, or MSMEs, as they face increasing pressures and challenges from a shortage of capital, talent and technology. .

More efforts should be made to harness digital technologies to help those enterprises, which are playing a critical role in narrowing income gaps and boosting the development of the real economy, Zhou said, adding that the company will step up efforts to offer SaaS, or software as a service, and help fuel the digitization drive for MSMEs.

Xiang Ligang, director general of the Information Conquisition Alliance, a telecom industry association, hailed the nation’s intensified efforts to develop AI-enabled digital technologies, which will inject new impetus into the country’s economic growth and accelerate digital upgrades and smart in companies

The deep integration of digital technologies with the real economy will further strengthen China’s advantages in global supply chains, he said.

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