China is injecting big in developing new AI-techs, data shows
By Pan Zhaoyi

China has initiated a couple of projects on new generation artificial intelligence (AI) technologies with the investment amounting to 1 billion yuan (about 140.7 million U.S. dollars), an official from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The new AI-techs, by leveraging massive amounts of data, texts, images, videos and collective intelligence, are designed to help upgrade current infrastructure, traditional industries and city governance," explained Qin Yong, director-general of the ministry's Department of High and New Technology.

For instance, in the healthcare industry where abundant patient records lie unattended, there is a disconnected system full of waste and error. But by taking advantage of the data intelligence, both operational efficiencies and workflow management can be improved. Healthcare providers can make better decisions based on data analysis while reducing administrative burdens. 

What's more, AI-assisted diagnostic systems, face recognition, temperature detection and a series of AI products and technologies have made great contributions in the recent coronavirus fight.

Read more: What can AI do in the fight against coronavirus?

Based on machine learning technology, a diagnostic tool developed by Chinese and American scientists has prevented as many mild cases as possible from progressing into severely and critically ill patients.

Read more: AI tool predicts which coronavirus patients could get worse

"In the future, AI will surely be a part of daily life. China has seen encouraging growth in the new generation AI sector, thanks to nationwide joint efforts to facilitate its growth," said Wang Zhigang, the Minister of Science and Technology.

To date, 15 such platforms nationwide and 11 pilot zones in Beijing and Shanghai have been established with the aim of helping to improve the basic software and hardware system and upgrade the healthcare industry and supply chain system in logistics as well as city governance in local and central government.

According to a 2019 report from U.S.-based think tank Center for Data Innovation, 32% percent of Chinese firms have successfully adopted AI into their business processes, followed by the United States (22 percent) and the European Union (estimated 18 percent).

The domestic AI industry  attracted 60 percent of all global investment between 2013 and the first quarter of 2018, a report from Tsinghua University shows. 

In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology plans to allocate 950 million U.S. dollars annually to fund strategic AI projects.

(Cover: A doctor uses 5G technology to conduct remote CT scans on COVID-19 cases /CGTN)