China has moved to forge new competitive advantages in artificial intelligence (AI), with goals to allow homegrown businesses to take on global rivals by 2020.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on December 14 released an action plan to substantially improve the emerging technology in the next three years, eying breakthroughs in basic research and wide application in multiple areas ranging from smart automobiles to robots and drones.
AI and manufacturing will be deeply integrated, according to the document.
Platforms of intelligent connected vehicles will be reliable and safe enough to support highly automated driving, and large-scale production and application of smart robots used for household and public services will be achieved.
Specific targets were also unveiled in areas including facial recognition, AI medical diagnosis, speech recognition and smart translation.
The MIIT promised more policy support, including special funds, talent cultivation and a better business environment. Measures will also be rolled out to build industry clusters, set up key laboratories and encourage data sharing.
AI is developing rapidly in China. From Internet giants to startups, an increasing number of tech firms are geared up to stretch wings in the area. Google has announced a new AI research center that primarily focuses on basic research in Beijing.
(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2017)