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China sees huge demand for AI instructors

(People's Daily Online)    16:19, April 15, 2020

China is seeing huge demand for artificial intelligence (AI) instructors, a job title that was included in the 16 new professions recently released by the country’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Artificial intelligence instructors work at a network technology company in Guangshan county, Xinyang, central China’s Henan province. (Photo/Xinhua)

The term refers to people who use intelligent training software for database management, algorithm parameter settings, human-computer interaction design, performance test tracking and other auxiliary operations in the actual use of AI products, mostly in the emerging industries and service sectors.

The new job title, generally divided into data annotators and AI algorithm engineers, is a result of emerging technologies, new industries, new forms of business and new models, said Ge Heng, an official with the ministry.

With the world continuing to promote the research and development of AI technologies, AI has been applied in various industries, including data analysis, manufacturing, education, security, municipal administration, logistics, man-machine interaction and transport, fuelling surging demand for AI instructors, said Deng Zhengjie, an associate professor at the Hainan Normal University in south China’s Hainan province.

Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group began training its first batch of AI instructors in 2015, said Wang Zhiyu, an AI expert with the group’s Chief Customer Office, adding that the group now has 200,000 AI instructors. He also revealed that there are about 500,000 practitioners in China.

There are expected to be 5 million AI instructors at home and abroad by 2022, according to a recent analysis. Data also shows that the country still has a short-term shortage of data annotators, and a severe shortage of AI algorithm engineers.

In the long run, AI instructors should improve their comprehensive skills, as AI technologies will be applied in a growing number of fields, such as music and literature, said Duan Yucong, a professor at Hainan University.

Li Zhengcai, CEO of Smart Security, a high-tech company in Beijing, also said that the biggest challenge facing AI instructors is the need for interdisciplinary skills, as they are also required to have legal knowledge.

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

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