Building An AI Industry

Over the past year, more nations have come to realize the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) in shaping the economics of the future. With Russia, the United States, and the United Emirates all funding serious efforts to advance AI tech, China has established a three-year program to secure AI as a major economic driver by 2020. This is part of the nation's overarching plan to become an industry leader in AI by 2030. As a first step towards this goal, the Chinese government is preparing to build a technology park in Beijing dedicated to AI development research.

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The government is investing some $2.12 billion (13.8 billion yuan) to build the industrial park, located in west Beijing, according to state press agency Xinhua and as first reported by Reuters.

This "national AI research center" of sorts is also expected to produce $7.7 billion (50 billion yuan) a year from the 400 enterprises that would be housed in the AI research park.

Taking a Leadership Role

When it comes to AI, China isn't exactly starting from zero. Previous reports have shown that China has purportedly been investing time and effort in AI research, even more than the United States.

With their clearly laid-out program, China is expected to soon surpass the U.S. in AI development. The U.S. still doesn't have a similar AI program in place, unfortunately.

Already, China is working on a number of AI projects — which include these human-looking robots, this AI police station, and that AI that passed a medical licensing exam. China also plans to dominate the AI chip race. Meanwhile, companies are increasingly investing in the technology, following Google, Amazon, and other tech heavyweights that have centered their businesses in AI.

At any rate, with plans for an AI-focused industrial park and its AI research center in the works, it might not be impossible for China to deliver on their promised AI breakthrough by 2025 — what its Ministry of Industry and Information Technology calls "Made in China 2025."

As China's AI development plan puts it, "The rapid development of artificial intelligence will profoundly change the social life of mankind and change the world."

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