Recently, Premier Li Keqiang wrote in the Report on the Work of the Government, “The artificial intelligence has achieved progress by leaps and bounds in 2016. The associated informatization construction and intelligent manufacturing technology have been upgraded in an overall manner. We will accelerate the cultivation and expansion of emerging industries, and fully implement our plan for developing strategic emerging industries in 2017. We will accelerate R&D on and commercialization of new materials, artificial intelligence, integrated circuits, bio-pharmacy, 5G mobile communications, and other technologies, and develop industrial clusters in these fields.” It was the first time that “artificial intelligence” had ever appeared in the Report on the Work of the Government, which also delivered an important signal that the artificial intelligence would be endorsed by the state.
VentureSCAnner statistical data indicated that the global artificial intelligence companies achieved investment of almost USD1.2 billion in total last year and the global artificial intelligence market would exceed hundreds of billion dollars by 2020. As pointed out in the Implementation Program for Three-year Actions of “Internet” + Artificial Intelligence formulated by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Internet Information Office, the artificial intelligence industry, service and standardization system would be basically established by 2018 to realize breakthrough of core technologies and form the artificial intelligence application scale at the level of hundreds of billion yuan.
The significance of vigorously developing artificial intelligence technology in China is self-evident no matter from the aspect of the national strategy or the market value. In terms of the traditional information technology, China has been always at the stage of lagging behind and chasing; however, the artificial intelligence signifies the new opportunity for Chinese technical innovation to take the lead of global technical development. Not only internet giants in China have invested in R&D of artificial intelligence but more venture companies are scrambling for the critical time of artificial intelligence, which has thus resulted in a favorable entrepreneurship ecosystem of artificial intelligence.
The core of artificial intelligence is to carry out exploration and deep studies of data resources through innovative computing model so as to fulfill the application in fact. The unique advantages of developing artificial intelligence in China are represented in the data resources and the complicated data application scenes as established, especially the application to the fields of face identification, medical treatment, education, going out, safety, finance, intelligent safeguarding, intelligent wearing, smart home and smart campus, etc., which will greatly promote the industrialization and further development of artificial intelligence technology.
As pointed by Deng Zhonghan, representative of NPC and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, “we’ve been running in a paralleled way internationally and now striving for “taking the lead” in some key fields since the profound implementation of the innovation-oriented strategy. The new-generation artificial intelligence is such an important scientific and technological field”.
The disparity between our research accumulation in the field of artificial intelligence and that in developed countries has not been very large in recent years. In case the systematic promotion plan can be established at the strategic level, it would provide an absolutely great opportunity for China to overtake at the bend, upgrade the comprehensive national power and influence. It is gratifying that Chinese enterprises have highlighted profound strengths in terms of super-computing that the artificial intelligence is based on. E-level high performance computer developed by Sugon, capable of computing at 10 GFlops, is widely recognized as the “next crown of the super computers”.
In addition to technical strength, the popularization of artificial intelligence has been also intensified in China. The sole domestic enterprise-level deep learning united laboratory was jointly established by Institute of Computing Technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sugon and NVIDIA Corporation just for this mission to enable more small and medium enterprises to share the development dividends. For example, DGX-1 deep learning system developed by the laboratory was implemented in HIKVision, which enabled the deep learning technology to be formally applied to the field of video surveillance.
The artificial intelligence has brought about a brand-new reform of technology and way of interaction. High-tech enterprises in China and the world as well have been standing at the critical time of era. We shall make sound preparation for continuous innovation and make full advantage of existing elementary computing capacity on the basis of profound big data resources and scenarized applications so as to carry out active industrial synergy and innovation while utilizing this superexcellent opportunity of overtaking at the bend.