AI to thrive glob­ally amid col­lab­o­ra­tions

Univer­sity fo­rum shows how China could ben­e­fit from tech de­vel­op­ments

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business - By WANG YING in Shang­hai wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence or AI is pre­sent­ing more and more op­por­tu­ni­ties to com­pete and col­lab­o­rate in cross-bor­der en­vi­ron­ments, and China is likely to emerge as one of the big­gest ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this trend, said ex­perts and in­dus­trial pro­fes­sion­als.

De­nis Si­mon, ex­ec­u­tive vicechan­cel­lor of Duke Kun­shan Univer­sity, said the State Coun­cil has pro­vided guid­ance for the devel­op­ment of the AI tech­nol­ogy in its longterm plan re­leased in July 2017.

It also gave the green sig­nal to the pri­vate sec­tor, in­clud­ing small and medium en­ter­prises, to en­ter the AI sec­tor.

“As long as mar­ket forces de­ter­mine which com­pany will be suc­cess­ful, the China mar­ket has a great po­ten­tial for devel­op­ing a very strong AI ca­pa­bil­ity,” said Si­mon.

Ac­cord­ing to him, AI has the po­ten­tial to break down tra­di­tional eco­nomic struc­tures, and cre­ate more flu­id­ity across the econ­omy. What AI can pro­vide is a cat­a­lyst for chang­ing the way in­dus­tries op­er­ate, and every­thing in­clud­ing the ac­count­ing in­dus­try, au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try, and the satel­lite in­dus­try, is go­ing to see sub­stan­tial im­pact from AI.

“This is al­ready un­der­way, and the only ques­tion is how far will they go, how trans­for­ma­tive they will be­come,” he said.

The devel­op­ment of AI can­not hap­pen with­out close cross-bor­der co­op­er­a­tion, he said. To pro­mote such co­op­er­a­tion, the univer­sity or­ga­nized an event on May 27.

More than 20 sci­en­tists, pol­i­cy­mak­ers, multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tions’ lead­ers, en­trepreneurs and in­vestors at­tended the Duke In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum 2018 in Kun­shan, Jiangsu prov­ince. The fo­rum’s theme was ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence as a driver of cross-bor­der com­pe­ti­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Over the past few years, AI-re­lated col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween China and the United States has been speed­ing up, in­clud­ing the one be­tween Mi­crosoft and Chi­nese univer­si­ties, said Paul Tri­olo, prac­tice head of geotech­nol­ogy (GeoCy­ber) at Eura­sia Group.

The busi­ness cir­cles of the US have clearly taken China as a very im­por­tant co­op­er­a­tive part­ner and a wide range of co­op­er­a­tion re­lated to AI has al­ready taken place in in­sti­tu­tions as well as in the com­mer­cial sec­tor, Tri­olo said.

AI devel­op­ment will con­trib­ute $15.7 tril­lion to the global econ­omy by 2030, with China as the big­gest con­trib­u­tor of 26 per­cent, fol­lowed by North Amer­ica (14.5 per­cent), south­ern Europe (11.5 per­cent), de­vel­oped Asia (10.4 per­cent), and north­ern Europe (9.9 per­cent), a re­port from Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers stated.

Ac­cord­ing to the PwC re­port, global GDP will be 14 per­cent higher in 2030 as AI will be widely used to boost la­bor pro­duc­tiv­ity and in­crease con­sumer de­mand for tech­nol­ogy-in­spired prod­ucts.

The im­pact of AI would be on all sec­tors of health­care, au­to­mo­tive, and ex­hibit huge po­ten­tial for high-touch, high­fre­quency, and high-value prod­ucts and ser­vices en­abled by AI, said Rob McCar­gow, pro­gram leader of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence tech­nol­ogy and in­vest­ments with PwC.

McCar­gow said there are five prin­ci­ples un­der­ly­ing the growth of the tech­nol­ogy: AI should be de­vel­oped for the com­mon good and ben­e­fit of hu­man­ity; AI should op­er­ate on the prin­ci­ples of in­tel­li­gi­bil­ity and fair­ness; AI should not be used to di­min­ish the data rights or pri­vacy of in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies or com­mu­ni­ties; all ci­ti­zens have the right to be ed­u­cated to en­able them to flour­ish men­tally, emo­tion­ally and eco­nom­i­cally along­side AI; and the au­ton­o­mous power to hurt, de­stroy or de­ceive hu­man be­ings should never be vested in AI.

On May 27, a project for the Sino-US Sci­ence In­no­va­tion Cen­ter kicked off in the city of Kun­shan, a key man­u­fac­tur­ing hub in China and a key city in the global sup­ply chain for in­dus­tries like elec­tron­ics and cell phones. Like many Chi­nese cities in the coastal area, Kun­shan is fac­ing a chal­lenge in the form of con­tin­u­ously rising cost for la­bor.

“Ma­chines have con­sis­tent, sus­tain­able qual­ity, over time and over quan­tity. They do a bet­ter job in pre­serv­ing con­sis­tent qual­ity,” said Si­mon.

CAO BOYUAN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A vis­i­tor shakes an AI-pow­ered ro­bot’s hand at the 5th China Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Fair for Trade in Ser­vices on May 28.

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