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China promotes local AI pilot zones

Updated: May 09,2020 04:51 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China has been promoting artificial intelligence (AI) innovative development pilot zones at local levels, a Chinese official said on May 9.

Last year, China started to build a new generation of national AI innovative development pilot zones, relying on local governments to carry out technology demonstration, policy pilot and social experiments, said Vice Minister of Science and Technology Li Meng at a press conference.

According to Li, China is speeding up the deployment of AI R&D and open source. A total of 33 major AI projects were launched last year and 15 open-source platforms were established.

He said that along with the pilot zones in cities like Beijing and Shanghai, China has launched the country's first county-level AI pilot zone in Deqing county, Zhejiang province last year.

According to a document last November, Deqing county is expected to rely on its advantages in automatic driving, smart farming and smart governance, improve its AI infrastructure and promote the establishment of AI ethical norms, providing a county-level example for AI governance.

He added that leading universities, research institutions and enterprises in Beijing have started to jointly sponsor a new type of R&D research institutions, aiming at drawing together high-end talents around the world and boost original AI innovation.

Also at the press conference, Li noted that AI technologies, enterprises and platforms have played a unique role in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

From ward management, epidemiological investigation to drug screening and CT diagnosis, a large number of AI technologies are in use, empowering all walks of life.

AI has improved social governance in areas like epidemic monitoring, risk analysis and early warning, and transportation, which reflects its significance in the modernization of governance system and governance capacity, he said.

He added that China attaches great importance to AI education. Curriculum setting on AI can be seen across China's basic, higher and vocational education sectors. Textbooks on AI have been compiled for primary and secondary school students.

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