Event showcases nation's leading role, breakthroughs in artificial intelligence
Updated: July 7, 2023 10:44 China Daily

China has achieved remarkable progress in the field of artificial intelligence — proof is its second position in the Artificial Intelligence Innovation Index for the third straight year, trailing only the United States. So, more efforts should be made to consolidate the gains made already and aim for the top slot next, domain experts said after reviewing a report released at a key industry event.

The US and China are followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore, Canada, Japan and South Korea, said the 2022 Global AI Innovation Index Report.

The report was released at the sixth World Artificial Intelligence Conference — WAIC, as it is called — that opened on Thursday in Shanghai and will close on Saturday. More than 1,400 guests and exhibitors are attending the event.

Compiled by the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China, the report noted that China has seen its rankings in networks, talent, education, system innovations and patents rise, but is still lagging the US in most other indicators, said Zhao Zhiyun, director-general of the institute.

"In comparison with its fast-growing innovations, there is still huge room for improvement in innovative scale and quality," Zhao said.

This year's WAIC theme is "Intelligent Connectivity Generating Future". More than 400 exhibitors are showcasing their products in the 50,000-square-meter main exhibition area.

More than 30 products will make their debut, according to Wu Jincheng, director of the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization, during a news conference in Shanghai ahead of the event.

"Being the nation's highland for AI industry's innovative development, Shanghai has made great achievements in technological innovation, industrial agglomeration, empowerment of various industries and pilot zone development. The WAIC has become an important innovative platform for the global AI industry," said Xu Xiaolan, vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, during the opening ceremony.

"The city of Shanghai will promote the healthy development of AI with stronger efforts, striving to build the city into an AI highland with greater international influence," said Chen Jining, Shanghai's Party secretary.

Xu said the MIIT will accelerate work on rolling out fresh AI industry policies and guide all the parties concerned to collaborate on AI development.

"More efforts will be made to achieve innovative breakthroughs in AI to form a complete industrial chain. Major applications of the technology will be developed to better support manufacturing industries' development," said Xu.

China is also striving to form a competitive industrial ecosystem, strengthening international communication and collaboration in AI, Xu said.

Addressing the event via a video link, Elon Musk, CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, said he admires Chinese people's talent and drive. "I think there's a tremendous number of very smart, very talented people in China (giving the country a very strong AI capability)."

With robots predicted to benefit humanity even more in the future, regulatory oversight should be in place to tackle risks like super intelligence outsmarting or posing problems for humans, he said.

"There is a very positive future, but there's some chance for a negative future, and we should do everything possible to ensure that the negative future does not come to pass."

Amid the global buzz fueled by OpenAI's artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, large-scale AI models have become a hot topic at this year's WAIC. More than 30 large-scale AI models from home and abroad will be exhibited at the event.

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