Highlights of 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference
Updated 19:59, 30-Aug-2019

How is artificial intelligence (AI) going to change our daily lives? The 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) held from Thursday to Saturday in the east China metropolic Shanghai has provided exhibition-goers with a glimpse.

Themed "Intelligent Connectivity, Infinite Possibilities," the WAIC focuses on an interconnected intelligent world enabled by the development of AI technologies. 

A dozen of forums were held during the conference, with scientists and entrepreneurs discussing algorithms, brain-inspired intelligence technology, AI chips and AI robots, among which the dialogue between Tesla founder Elon Musk and Alibaba founder Jack Ma garnered the greatest attention.  

There was much more.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma speaks with Tesla founder Elon Musk at the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, August 30, 2019. /VCG Photo

Alibaba founder Jack Ma speaks with Tesla founder Elon Musk at the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, August 30, 2019. /VCG Photo

Innovative AI products 

At the innovative application area, 300 companies from around the world presented their latest AI products.  

One of them helps streamline the process of 3D modeling, whereby game developers can get 3D figures simply by drawing on a tablet.  

"We have collected many items in different shapes and drafted them out, matching up the draft with real items to train an AI model. The product is designed for designers or people who work in art industry to create game characters," said Pan Hao, an exhibitor.  

After a user types in a brief description, a painting application utilizing AI technology can create an oil painting in three minutes based on artworks of over 200 masters throughout history. This is enabled by machine learning, which allows a computing device to predict outcomes without being explicitly programmed.  

Waving a hand or making a gesture, exhibition-goers can see the shadow of their hands turn into vivid characters for a shadow puppet show based on the "The Legend of The White Snake," one of four greatest Chinese folktales.  

"Shadow puppetry is one of China's intangible cultural heritages. We hope traditional Chinese culture can be showcased through machine learning and other innovative methods," said Zhu Shuainan, another exhibitor. 

VCG Photo

VCG Photo

AI application in daily life 

AI in daily life is another highlight of the 2019 WAIC. 

A garbage classification monitoring system at the exhibition not only identifies people who throw away garbage, but also identifies the type of garbage. Meanwhile, the overflow of trash cans can be monitored in real time.  

A real-time fire hazard warning system on display can quickly trace the source of fire and smoke by intelligent video thermal imaging technology.  

Portable and intelligent medical equipment is another eye-grabber. He Chuan, an exhibitor of such equipment, introduced that with portable medical equipment with AI, doctors could offer patients in rural remote areas with poor medical infrastructure with medical services of first-class hospitals in big cities. 

"The intelligent equipment has been applied in 97 percent of the pilot villages, and the cost has been reduced by 30 percent," he said.