WAIC to showcase latest AI tech in Shanghai
Industrial giants increase focus on basic core technologies: analysts
Published: Aug 28, 2019 10:18 PM

A view of a sign board of the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference, which starts in Shanghai on Thursday . Photo: IC

The 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC), which starts on Thursday, will feature 300 companies showcasing their latest artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and application scenarios.

Companies have made great progress when it comes to core technologies of basic research and the development of the whole industry this year. Chinese companies are narrowing the gap in key technology development with world-class rivals, analysts said at the eve of the three-day event.

With the theme of "Intelligent Connectivity Infinite Possibilities," the 2019 WAIC will become a platform for promoting the deep integration of AI technologies and the real economy, they said.

The event this year will have a specially designed chip wall to showcase 10 types of cutting-edge AI chips from seven well-known companies from China and abroad. 

Huawei's Kirin 980 is the world's first commercial mobile System on Chip (SoC) made with TSMC's 7-nanometer process, and the chip is also the first developed based on ARM Cortex-A76 micro-architecture. Its Ascend 310 is a highly flexible and programmable AI processor that can be used in surveillance, robotics, new retailer and data center scenario.

The special designs like the chip wall show that companies are stressing the development of basic core technologies instead of just working out some robots and developing products and plans with current technologies like before, said Xiang Ligang, a veteran industry analyst. 

Xiang noted that many companies are making great progress and he expects to see the different design structures and systems of their products, adding that Chinese companies have played catch-up in recent years and narrowed the technology gap with leading companies in the world.

Companies like Tencent, IBM, Microsoft, Fosun International and CloudMinds will exhibit their most advanced AI applications. Tencent will bring the world's first intelligent inspection and manipulation robot developed by Tencent Robotics X Lab. 

IBM will showcase Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON), the first AI assistant for human beings in space. As a "crew member" in the International Space Station, CIMON is capable of taking over routine tasks and enhancing the efficiency in man-machine interaction. 

Microsoft will introduce its HoloLens 2 smartglasses, which have been fully upgraded and updated from the previous version. Cloudminds will bring its XR-1 robot that applies the 5G plus AI cloud intelligent platform for the first time.

"AI helps us make some of our past ideas and visions into reality. It is now covering all aspects of our industries, manufacturing, life and entertainment," Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based industry analyst, told the Global Times.
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