How has China's AI industry developed?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we've already witnessed digital minds fighting alongside humans. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of them. How has China's AI industry developed? What are the concerns surrounding this promising technology? And what still needs to be done in the future?

Yike Guo, vice president of Hong Kong Baptist University, holds that China is no doubt the "frontrunner" in the global AI competition, with its large scale AI industry, deep depth of relative research, huge investment and wide acceptance from the general public. The world is deeply impressed by the determination of the Chinese government in conducting its AI revolution.

He also said that privacy protection is a core dilemma in AI research. The more data we get the better the algorithm we can make, but at the same time we have to realize that we should respect people's privacy and make sure all data exploration is ethical.


Prof. Wang Feiyue from the Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, pointed out that China, from government to society, is eager to embrace AI technology, which makes a huge difference. But he also expressed his concerns.

"China is leading the world in quick application and fast planning, but in some fundamental research and groundbreaking technology, we are still behind. So that's long way for us to go. I think before we talk about leading the world, let's make sure we have a solid foundation and solid real applications. We should do more," he said.

Prof. Wang also thinks that big data is of great necessity for the 4th Industrial Revolution, in which regard China has unique advantage. The country has more than 800 million netizens who produce data every second, which generates huge impetus for AI to develop.

Guo added that besides a large amount of data, high-quality data is also required. Just as raw oil needs to be refined before making petrochemicals, we also need to turn this data into high-quality information before it can be used for machines to build up models and understanding. Right now, it's of great significance for us to build up a comprehensive AI product supply chain.

Alan Gershenhorn, chief strategy advisor for Dorabot, believes that we should not necessarily view AI development as a kind of competition among countries. More collaborations are needed in this sphere.

Guo agrees that AI development needs global efforts. Considering the U.S. administration now is putting tremendous pressure on Chinese tech firm Huawei, he asserts that ultimately the United States and China will establish a balance and build up a healthy system where academics can work together to create cutting-edge technology and allow companies to compete fairly.

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