The present and the future is artificial intelligence (AI). The technology has been advancing with breakneck speed. The penetration of AI in virtually every sector has rung bells for tech firms to innovate and sustain in the world of technology. Tech firms have invested enormously in research and development activities of AI. Governments of various countries have been helping tech firms to develop innovative technologies by granting huge funding and providing concessions in taxation. Chinese government has invested massively in AI technology and has an ambitious plan to gain lead in the field of AI by 2030. It has a plan to invest billions in a tech park dedicated to AI in Beijing. Moreover, it plans to set up standards for AI to influence the development of AI across the world. China’s ambitious plans include helping startups take a leap in AI research and development. It has granted more funding than the U.S. in 2017.
Various executives of Chinese AI firms outlined their progress at MIT Technology Review’s annual EmTech Digital conference in San Francisco. These companies have been developing AI-powered products and services based on computer vision, natural language processing, speech recognition, and other technologies. From self-driving cars to entertainment industry, Chinese firms have been instrumental in developing technologies with a long-term aim to dominate the AI industry.
Wei-Ying Ma, the head of the AI lab of ByteDance, discussed how the company enhances photographs with the help of AI and offers Quora-like Q&A discussion forum. Its highly prominent app Toutiao has nearly 700 million monthly users and around 120 million daily users. The company is able to collect huge amount of data to train algorithms and create a personalized menu of videos, articles, and other content to serve its customers. It has become proficient in using AI to help people create and share short videos. It also plans to create personalized commentary for sports games. Moreover, AI would learn about the favorite players of user and utilize combination of video from game and information about players from web to tailor the coverage. As the Chinese government monitors everything, the company deployed army of human moderators to help AI in monitoring everything.
The huge amount of research that has been taking place in China is also one of the reasons why it is likely to meet its objective of dominating the AI industry by 2030. SenseTime, an AI firm offering facial recognition technology for various services such as image analysis and payments, has employed nearly 150 PhD graduates in AI research. They have published around 120 research papers in the world’s top AI conferences since 2015. Dahua Lin of SenseTime displayed a technology which delivers frame by frame analysis of movies at EmTech Digital Conference. This technology extracts specific moments from the film that can be displayed as highlights.
Shipeng Li, a technical adviser to iFLYTEK, one of the leading tech firms in the AI industry outlined its advancements in healthcare sector. Its virtual doctor service became the first to pass national medical exam of the country. Li outlined that China has been making great progress in domestic market. He also emphasized on need for global collaboration on research and standards in AI. It is interesting to see how China will make strides and reach which position by 2030.