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China to further boost AI competitiveness

By He Xinyu and Wang Hailin (People's Daily)    09:30, March 14, 2019

Photo taken on February 26, 2019 shows a bus resembling a panda stops at a square in Ganjiang New Area in Nanchang, east China’s Jiangxi province. What attracts people is not only its shape, but also the technological elements of this smart bus. Equipped with more than 10 of the world’s top technologies, it can realize automatic driving. Passengers can pay by simply placing their palms on the identification device. The bus also has a smart unmanned vending machine, through which passengers can buy beverages, food and other goods only by scanning their fingerprints. (Photo from People’s Daily Online)

China will strengthen R&D and the application of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, foster clusters of emerging industries like next-generation information technology, high-end equipment, biomedicine, new-energy automobiles, and new materials, and expand the digital economy, according to the Government Work Report 2019.

It has been the third time that AI was included into the government work report since its first appearance in the report in 2017, demonstrating great importance the Chinese government lays on AI development

In addition to manual driving, the bus also has an automatic driving function. (Photo from People’s Daily Online)

China has entered the first echelon around the world in AI development, a report indicates. The country’s booming AI development has attracted worldwide attention.

China has become the most attractive country for AI investment and financing, with the number of AI enterprises ranking the second in the world. The market value of the country’s AI industry reached 23.74 billion yuan in 2017, up 67 percent year on year, according to the report.

Nowadays, AI application is no longer limited to the fields of science and technology. More AI products related to daily life have been launched in recent years, bringing convenience to people in terms of clothing, food, housing and transportation.

The Xiongan New Area in north China’s Hebei province has opened its first unmanned supermarket. Customers can enter the store by scanning their faces and complete automatic settlement in their own because the digital price tags are backed by electronic chips, which can be automatically identified by mobile phones. The technologies of facial recognition and motion capture enable human-free and effective checkout.


Photo taken on September 14, 2018 shows a man shops at an unmanned supermarket of Chinese e-commerce giant JD at the citizen service center of Xiongan New Area, north China’s Hebei province. (Photo from People’s Daily Online)

The Beijing International Book City hosts Beijing’s first unattended smart bookstore, which opens 24 hours a day. The bookstore covers 30 square meters and all the procedures, including entering the store through facial recognition, selecting books, automatic settlement and checkout, are unattended here.

The world’s first driverless street sweeper made its debut in Songjiang of Shanghai. The machine is not much different from an ordinary street sweeper at a first glance. But it will automatically "wake up" every morning, and then leave the parking place to start the day's work. A number of sensors are placed at the head and body parts of the vehicle so that it can sense its location, recognize traffic lights and automatically bypass obstacles or passers-by during operation.

China should vigorously promote AI development and application, and strengthen prevention and guidance to ensure that they are safe and controllable, Zhang Yesui, spokesperson of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), told a press conference.

The NPC Standing Committee has included in its legislative plan a number of laws related to AI, such as the digital security law, the personal information protection law and the revision to the law on scientific and technological progress. Meanwhile, it will include AI-related legislation into its research, in a bid to provide a strong legal guarantee for AI innovation.

Photo taken on September 14, 2018 shows an unmanned logistic vehicle under test on a road around the citizen service center of Xiongan New Area, north China’s Hebei province. (Photo from People’s Daily Online) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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