Fu­ture of tech­nol­ogy gathers pace

Shanghai Daily - - COVER STORY - Zhu Shen­shen

The world’s first ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence an­chor de­vel­oped by a news agency and AI firm, “One-minute” man­less clinic for chronic dis­eases, cus­tom­ized on­line cour­ses for stu­dents and adults and an in­ter­ac­tive knowl­edge plat­form are among the high­lights of the 5th World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang Prov­ince.

In­ter­net de­vel­op­ment and im­proved in­for­ma­tion in­fra­struc­ture have deeply in­te­grated into peo­ple’s daily life and changed so­ci­ety in a “deep wa­ter” stage, Pony Ma, chief ex­ec­u­tive and chair­man of Ten­cent, told a panel of the con­fer­ence.

The In­ter­net, along with AI, big data, the In­ter­net of Things, 5G and VR, has brought a breath of fresh air to health care, ed­u­ca­tion, dig­i­tal en­ter­tain­ment, fi­nance and au­to­mo­tive in­dus­tries.

More than 430 com­pa­nies and or­ga­ni­za­tions from 25 coun­tries show­cased their lat­est prod­ucts and tech­nol­ogy at the coun­try’s top dot-com event. More than 1,500 guests vis­ited the con­fer­ence be­tween Mon­day and Wed­nes­day.

An­other topic that couldn’t be ne­glected was 5G. The 5G tech­nol­ogy of­fers 20 to 50 times faster In­ter­net ac­cess, brings more space and imag­i­na­tion for var­i­ous In­ter­net ser­vices from on­line video, game and eS­ports to so­cial ser­vices. It’s avail­able on trial in Wuzhen and ex­pected to be avail­able to the pub­lic next year.

The in­no­va­tion and im­proved net­work will “re­shape me­dia’s dis­tri­bu­tion and pro­duc­tion ways,” such as su­per high-def­i­ni­tion con­tents up to 8K and wider cov­er­age of au­di­ence, said Gong Yu, founder and CEO of on­line video firm iQiyi, which has more than 700 mil­lion users in China.

Some ap­pli­ca­tions were re­warded as top 15 “Sci­en­tific and Tech­no­log­i­cal Achieve­ments” at the con­fer­ence. They were cho­sen from 400 en­tries from coun­tries in­clud­ing China, the United States and the United King­dom. The AI an­chor and Baidu’s self-driv­ing projects were on the list.

AI an­chor

The world’s first ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence news an­chor made “his” de­but in Wuzhen, de­vel­oped by Xin­hua news agency and tech firm So­gou.

“He” has be­come a mem­ber of its re­port­ing team and can work 24 hours a day on its of­fi­cial web­site and on var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms, re­duc­ing news pro­duc­tion costs and im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency.

Based on the lat­est AI tech­nol­ogy, the an­chor has a male im­age with a voice, fa­cial ex­pres­sions and ac­tions of a real per­son. “He” learns from live broad­cast­ing videos by him­self and can read texts as nat­u­rally as a pro­fes­sional news an­chor, with AI tech­nol­ogy such as fa­cial and lip recog­ni­tion, emo­tion cap­ture and nat­u­ral lan­guage pro­cess­ing, ac­cord­ing to New York-listed So­gou.

It’s a first step for So­gou to de­velop a “prac­ti­cal AI as­sis­tant” in peo­ple’s daily life to deal with du­pli­cated work, like send­ing cus­tom­ized greet­ing mes­sages to var­i­ous groups, Wang Xiaochuan, So­gou’s CEO, said dur­ing the Wuzhen con­fer­ence.

One-minute clinic

A phone booth-size room called the “One­minute Clinic” is lo­cated out­side of Wuzhen’s con­ven­tion cen­ter, which at­tracts a long queue of vis­i­tors.

Af­ter en­ter­ing the booth, peo­ple can ac­cess Ping An Good Doc­tor’s AI-as­sisted med­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion with cloud plat­form and AI ser­vice. Then they will be con­nected to re­lated med­i­cal pro­fes­sional teams and, based on AI’s pre­lim­i­nary con­sul­ta­tion, de­scribes the symp­toms. Af­ter that the man­less clinic pro­vides users with hun­dreds of com­mon drugs and more op­tions with de­liv­ery ser­vices.

This ser­vice re­duces time and cost for the con­sul­ta­tion of com­mon ill­nesses, which adds huge pres­sure to China’s hospi­tals. It avoids the sit­u­a­tion as “talk­ing with doc­tors for only three min­utes af­ter wait­ing for three hours,” es­pe­cially for chronic dis­eases, Wang Tao, chair­man and CEO of Good Doc­tor, told a panel in Wuzhen.

Ma, as Ten­cent’s CEO, raised a ques­tion in on­line knowl­edge com­mu­nity Zhihu: “In the next decade, which will be the big­gest sci­en­tific break­throughs to in­flu­ence In­ter­net in­dus­try?”

His ques­tions raised sev­eral hun­dred

The world’s first ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence news an­chor by Xin­hua news agency — IC

A man vis­its the “One-minute Clinic” out­side of Wuzhen’s con­ven­tion cen­ter. — Rich Zhu

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