Shanghai releases sponsorship plan for AI projects

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/14 21:17:28

Shanghai released a guideline on Monday to provide financial support for artificial intelligence (AI) projects, showing its ambition to build up an AI pilot zone for the nation amid the worldwide AI race.

An industry insider said the plan will strongly increase the city's attraction for ventures in the sector.

The involved projects include both basic theoretical research and related applications of AI core technology, and the application part will mainly focus on transportation, medical treatment and community management, according to the guideline.

The specific details of sponsorships for qualified entities were not given.

"The application of AI technology is always a critical step, which needs firm support from government resources, such as medical treatment and transportation," a senior AI engineer, who preferred anonymity, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Amid the escalating trade friction and technology competition between China and the US, "it also sends a signal to capital investment companies from around the world," he added.

According to a trend report on AI 2019 by the World Intellectual Property Organization in January, China has played a vital role in the field and is mainly competing with the US and Japan.

"Chinese organizations make up 17 of the top 20 academic players in AI patenting as well as 10 of the top 20 in AI-related scientific publications," said the report.

Theses written in China in the field of AI increased from 4.26 percent in 1997 to 27.68 percent in 2017 of the world's total amount, and the number of highly cited papers overtook the US to become the world's leader in 2013, a study by Tsinghua University showed in 2018.

In addition, China had 1,011 AI enterprises, taking it to second place in the world as of June 2018, and it had attracted the largest amount of capital from 2013 to the first quarter of 2018, the study said.

Google Inc set up an AI research center in China in 2017, which showed China's potential development in the field.

Shanghai has been taking steps to pursue AI leadership in the past few years. At the World Artificial Intelligence Conference last year, Shanghai introduced 22 detailed plans focusing on talent cultivation, data resources and technological innovation, reported CCTV in September 2018.

As one of the core technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, AI technology could be a critical strength for China's industrial upgrading, which needs comprehensive support, the engineer said.


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