The 17 areas that the Chinese government considers key to achieve leadership in the field of artificial intelligence

For those who closely follow current events linked to the field of artificial intelligence, it will be obvious that China is taking on an increasingly prominent role: The Asian giant is generating more and more news due to the growing commitment of its public and private sectors (sometimes the border is unclear) with the aim of standing up to the United States in its role as a global leader in this industry.

If a few days ago the news reached us of the government program aimed at recruiting high school students to become experts in the development of smart weapons, now it is your Ministry of Industry and Information Technology that announces a new “Work Plan for the Key Tasks of the New Generation of Innovation in the Artificial Intelligence Industry”.

A plan for 2020, a goal for 2030

The objective of this document is to highlight a set of key technologies in which China intends to meet a series of goals by 2020 that the Chinese government considers cannot be postponed for, in turn, meet another medium-term goal: surpass the US in the leadership of this industry a decade later, in 2030

To do this, a group of key companies and scientific institutions will be selected to “integrate AI into the real economy” and “remove the bottlenecks” that hinder the development of this sector.

The work plan identifies up to a total of 17 key areas for the development of Chinese industry of artificial intelligence, detailing the milestones to be achieved in each of them during the next two years. This is the list:

  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Smart drones
  • Service robots
  • Industrial robots
  • Intelligent imaging technology
  • Identity verification systems through video
  • Smart sensors
  • Neural network chips
  • Interaction through voice
  • Translation AIs
  • Home automation
  • Smart logistics
  • Security systems
  • Smart grid infrastructure
  • Open source platforms
  • Test automation
  • Test standardization
  • Liu Quan, director of the Department of Artificial Intelligence at the Central University of Finance and Economics, stated in an interview with the First Financial Journal that the 17 areas involved are “relevant industries related to economic and social development, industries that will boost employment. “

    The BAT, Chinese battering ram in the sector

    The 17 areas that the Chinese government considers key to achieve leadership in the field of artificial intelligence

    But reading all the above we can get the wrong idea of ​​the situation of the AI ​​industry in China: although globally, as a nation, they may still have to climb some steps to talk “face to face” with the other side of the Pacific. China already has corporate giants that have nothing to envy their American competitors.

    As the consulting firm CBInsights stated in April, “the Chinese Internet may be isolated from the rest of the world, but China’s big technology companies […] Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba (collectively grouped under the name ‘BAT’) are already positioning themselves to become the artificial intelligence platforms of the future. […] International players have already started to reflect on how their artificial intelligence strategies will intersect (or compete) with those of the BATs. “

    According to CBInsights, “what distinguishes BATs from their American counterparts is the backing of the Chinese government. China wants to be a world leader in artificial intelligence in the next decade, and BATs are crucial in helping it achieve that goal. Government support and intervention in AI development will likely have an immediate impact on its growing technology sector. “