China aims to be a leader in AI by 2030

The Chinese government is on a mission to place the country as a world leader in Artificial Intelligence by 2030. Along with the United States, China currently shares the top destinations in tech development. Aiming to get to the global pole position, China is ramping up its strategy, focusing mainly on AI by heavily investing in research, development and applications of AI into diverse areas.

The government plan released in 2017, forecasts that its domestic AI industry will be worth US$150 billion by 2030. “By 2030, we shall make artificial intelligence theory, technology, and application at the world’s leading level,” the Chinese Government said in the release of its top-level AI plan.

China has identified 17 key areas for AI development in China, among them smart vehicles, intelligent service robots, intelligent drones, neural network chips, and intelligent manufacturing, for examples; as well as bringing the value of AI to all levels throughout the supply chain.

In the near-term future, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) hopes to thrive in smart chips for autonomous driving, intelligent vehicle algorithms, and vehicle communications. Over the coming three years, Beijing expects to increase in the size of the AI industry by ten times.

The signs of the AI revolution in China are already visible. Earlier in November, state news agency Xinhua unveils the world’s first AI news anchor who can report ‘tirelessly’ 24 hours a day.

The steps to achieve global dominance reflect the amount of funding destined to technology and AI firms in China. Last year, 48 percent of total global funding of AI startups globally came from China, compared to 38 percent funded by the US, and 13 per cent by the rest of the world.

To be able to sustain the growth of the industry, investments in education and training are hugely necessary — and Chinese authorities do not miss this. From 2019, Chinese pupils will start having AI lessons in primary and secondary schools. According to Xinhua, pilot projects already started running in Shanghai.

In universities, doctoral students who pursue AI-related majors can be paid as high as 800,000 yuan (US$115,234) per year, representing an increase of up to 60 percent from the annual salary of 500,000 yuan (US$72,021) in 2017, says a NetEase report.

Smart Asia: Asian countries lead the race to develop smart cities

The strategy and development of AI applications couples with advancements in terms of implementing smart technologies into urban centres to create the so-called ‘smart cities’.

Governments across Asia are embracing disruptive technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain to create effective solutions for the challenges faced by megacities.

The second leading smart city in the world is Singapore, where intelligent transportation and mobility system which have been in place for more than 10 years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India launched a strategy in 2015 to build 100 smart cities in the country. The initiative seeks to invest more than $15 billion over the next few years to develop and implement efficient infrastructure and management solutions.

The engineering behind the structure of smart cities combines multiple digital tools such as location sensing, cloud computing and mobile connectivity.

McKinsey estimates that smart-mobility applications could create up to $70 billion in value and forecasts suggest that by 2023 the smart cities market will be a US$7.6 billion Telco opportunity for mobile service providers (MSP) and network vendors.

Despite the figures above, the real positive impact of smart cities cannot be measured in economic growth or market size; it is instead reflected in a better quality of life, more effective public services and sustainable lifestyle.

“Asian countries are very forward-thinking and famous for welcoming technology and innovation. There is a huge scope for growth in this area and tech companies should be in the lookout for opportunities,” says Stefania Barbaglio, director at Cassiopeia Services.

As we welcome the fourth industrial revolution, and let innovation keep on improving our lives, more systems are set to transform, bringing positive changes to society. Watch this space for more updates on technology projects in emerging markets. Subscribe to our FinancialFox YouTube channel for all the latest developments and news.