Tech giants: 'AI has changed the way we think'
By Wang Xueying
In east China’s water town, Wuzhen, China is holding one of its most significant Internet events, World Internet Conference 2017 (WIC). Gathering leaders from the worlds’ famous tech giants, the summit provides a communication platform for professionals and academics to share their thoughts on global Internet development trends. Not surprising, AI technology is a focal point again this year.
“Much has been said of the potential downsides of AI, but I don’t worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines,” said Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who gave a surprise keynote at the opening ceremony on Sunday.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook/AP Photo

Apple's CEO Tim Cook/AP Photo

In his opinion, human beings have to work to infuse emerging technologies such as the future Internet and AI “with humanity and with our values.” With the rapid development of advanced technologies, the privacy, security as well as humanity of high-tech should be attached to more focus, Cook said.
“AI technology has changed the way we think,” said Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, one of the top Chinese smartphone manufacturers. “In such an open era, all tech companies have opportunities… and challenges,” Lei said at a conference during the WIC 2017.
“Even though you are leading at present, it may be only a few steps ahead… We all know the competition in the field of AI technology is becoming fiercer and fiercer," said Lei. 
China's tech tycoons are gathering in Wuzhen./Sina Photo

China's tech tycoons are gathering in Wuzhen./Sina Photo

Chinese tech giants are indeed increasing their investments in AI. Following the US, China has become the world's second-largest investor in the emerging field. China’s tech giants, including Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi and Baidu, are all plunging themselves into the AI wars and are vying to stay competitive in the burgeoning space.
According to Robin Li, co-founder of China’s search engine Baidu, AI technology is set to play a key role in upgrading business operations in China. In a keynote speech at the WIC, Li pointed out that AI technology has helped Baidu reduce waste by 30 percent and improve profitability by 20 percent. He also cited the mining industry as an example, where the adoption of AI technology has significantly reduced accident rates.
AI technology is expected to reshape China’s future domestic business operations.

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