Lawmakers and political advisors brainstorm to seize opportunity for AI growth
Open-source large model will be more accessible, affordable in 2024
Published: Jan 28, 2024 08:50 PM
AI Photo: VCG

AI Photo: VCG

Recognizing the immense potential of artificial intelligence (AI), Chinese provincial lawmakers and political advisors are actively brainstorming innovative ideas to seize the opportunity for growth in the AI sector in their respective provinces.

As an important driving engine for the development of the digital economy, the role of AI in empowering "thousands of industries" is also becoming more prominent. Chinese security company 360 Security Technology's founder and chairman Zhou Hongyi had predicted that in 2024, the open-source large model will undergo a transformative shift, becoming more accessible and affordable for everyone.

In Beijing, Wu Wenyan, a member from the Beijing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) submitted a proposal on the application of AI robots in the field of elderly care as China has entered into the aging society. She said the AI robots can follow instructions and provide services such as food assistance, medical assistance and mobility assistance 24 hours a day to improve the quality of life of the elderly.

In Shenzhen, Xia Jun, a CPPCC member believes that traditional Chinese medicine has the characteristics of high quality and high price, and if it is combined with AI, it is expected to better reach the balance of cost and utility. "The final output of Chinese medicine is not standardized enough due to factors such as planting environment and policies. The use of modern technology would put the whole process of Chinese herbal medicine cultivation into supervision, to ensure the quality of drugs."

In Shanghai, Jiang Biyan, a CPPCC member, emphasized the need for Shanghai to spearhead educational reform in the era of AI. Jiang suggests shifting the focus from imparting knowledge to fostering students' abilities, and from prioritizing teacher-led instruction to prioritizing student-centered learning. Additionally, she proposes moving away from evaluating students based solely on their knowledge mastery level, and instead, evaluating them based on their core qualities.

Zhou told the Global Times that China possesses the most extensive range of industries globally, encompassing a complete supply chain and industrial network. The most promising prospects can be found in the industrialization, specialization and vertical integration of technology.

To seize the opportunity to excel in the AI development, lawmakers and political advisors also provided suggestions on how their respective provinces can achieve their goal.

Xu Li, a member of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), also the CEO of SenseTime, said Shanghai has many first-mover advantages, including various scenarios and vertical fields, as well as relatively good progress in basic and engineering sciences. Therefore, when making innovative breakthroughs, Shanghai can deviate from the Western path and instead focus on combining highly specific scenarios and data to refine end-to-end breakthroughs in large-scale models. 

Guo Zhendong, a CPPCC member from East China's Shandong Province, admitted that compared to domestic pioneers like Shenzhen and Shanghai in terms of empowering the private sectors with AI, Shandong still has certain gaps though the province is a strong manufacturing base. He suggested local departments jointly research and formulate relevant documents for AI development, establish a good working mechanism and coordinate the development of the AI industry.

Shen Teng, a CPPCC member from Beijing, focused his attention on legal issues relating to AI. He suggested Beijing formulating a regulation on the promotion of the development of AI industry as soon as possible so as to establish a sound legal protection system, which he believed would provide clear legal guidance for the application of AI technology and industrial development.

On how to help Shenzhen narrow the gap in the AI sector with the Yangtze River Delta and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Tian Jiajun, a CPPCC member, said that collaborative development between Shenzhen and Hong Kong is expected to accelerate the establishment of the regional AI ecosystem.

Tian said that Shenzhen's role in leading the AI industry is relatively weak in terms of basic research areas. Hong Kong adjacent to Shenzhen has significant advantages in cutting-edge research and high-end talent cultivation in the field of artificial intelligence, which can complement Shenzhen. 

Liu Gang, director of Economic Research Institute of Nankai University, believes that accelerating the implementation of application scenarios of AI, gathering innovative resources, receiving support from local government policies are crucial factors that influence and determine the development and enhancement of competitiveness in the regional AI industry. Cultivating a highly open industrial innovation ecosystem also plays a significant role in this regard.

According to a report on the Regional Competitiveness Evaluation Index of China's New Generation Artificial Intelligence Technology Industry in 2023 released in May 2023, in terms of the overall evaluation index of regional competitiveness in the country's AI technology industry in 2023, the top 10 provincial-level regions are Beijing, Guangdong, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, Liaoning, Anhui, and Hunan.