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Beidou satellite system modernizing daily operations of Chinese industries

By Liang Jun (People's Daily Online)    15:05, March 11, 2016
Beidou satellite system modernizing daily operations of Chinese industries
Wan Gang, minister of science and technology.

A number of major scientific programs will be launched during the 13th Five-Year Plan, many of which will have a major impact on the daily lives of Chinese citizens. For example, more than 50,000 fishing boats have been connected with the Beidou navigation satellite system, said Wan Gang, minister of science and technology, on Thursday.

"Fishermen told me, 'We have to follow the fish when go fishing, and we often aren’t sure where we are because there are no landmarks on the sea. But the navigation system provides that information to us,’" Wan Gang, also vice-chairman of the CPPCC, told reporters at the ongoing Two Sessions meetings.

Wan added that he went to Inner Mongolia recently and found a local company that was using the Beidou satellite system to track their cattle. If the cattle wander outside their boundaries, the positioning system alerts them and an unmanned aerial vehicle is sent to herd them back.

Wan also mentioned the match between Lee Sedol, one of the world’s greatest Go players and AlphaGo, a computer program developed by Google's London-based subsidiary, DeepMind. Wan believes that AI can follow rules and patterns on a higher level, but it cannot replace the human impulse to explore the unknown.

As AI improves, it will change the shape of human labor and allow more people to explore previously inaccessible fields. At the same time, humans will always remain the true explorers.

"I prefer to play chess with people, which brings a higher degree of uncertainty and feels somehow more intimate," said Wan Gang. No matter to what extent science and technology develops, he added, person-to-person communication is essential.  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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