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Inclusive tech world stressed

By CHENG YU and MA SI in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-09 08:08

Participants at the 2023 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit exchange views prior to the opening of the event on Wednesday in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province. [ZHANG WEI/CHINA DAILY]

Wuzhen summit highlights digital economy, more responsible AI

More global efforts are needed to create an inclusive and resilient digital world that is beneficial to all, said industry experts and company executives at a global technology event on Wednesday.

Such a digital world assumes significance given the current global economic uncertainties and the rapid growth and economic importance of fields like artificial intelligence and other new-generation technologies, they said at the 2023 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit that kicked off on Wednesday in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.

The conference, now in its 10th year, has evolved into a platform for efforts to narrow the digital divide and contribute to global governance in cyberspace.

"The digital economy has become a key engine for global economic recovery in the past year. Countries across the world are beefing up efforts in key areas of the digital economy, like digital technologies, industrial digitalization and data elements," said Xia Xueping, head of the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies, which is affiliated to the Cyberspace Administration of China.

"Amid rising complexities and uncertainties of the global environment, it is of significance that economies around the world strengthen dialogue and communication so as to co-build an inclusive and resilient digital world," Xia said.

Notably, China, with its digital economy playing an important role in driving economic growth and highquality development, is ready to work with the rest of the world to drive internet development and cybersecurity for a shared future, he said.

According to the World Internet Development Report 2023 and the China Internet Development Report 2023, which were published by the WIC on Wednesday, China has taken second place among 52 economies in terms of internet development, with an apparent rise in innovation capabilities, internet applications and industrial development.

Based on an evaluation of six aspects, including infrastructure level, innovation capabilities and cyberspace governance, the World Internet Development Report 2023 noted that China's internet development ranked second, behind the United States. The other economies in the top five are Singapore, the Netherlands and South Korea.

In terms of digital innovation capacity, the US, Finland and Sweden took the top three places, with China following them, complete with a significant rise in the number of patents in information technologies, the report stated.

In particular, generative AI technology has made breakthroughs this year and developed countries have increased their AI investment, especially in large model technology, it said.

Yang Yuanqing, chairman of Lenovo Group Ltd, said at the conference that as digital technologies interlace increasingly with social and economic development, there is an urgent need to work together to create an inclusive digital world.

The widespread application of hybrid AI in various industries will promote digital inclusiveness and greatly promote the deep integration of the digital economy and the real economy, and build an open, inclusive, fair and non-discriminatory digital economy, Yang said.

"By combining public and private large AI models in both enterprise-oriented and consumer-facing applications, we can effectively leverage strengths and avoid weaknesses to better enjoy the efficiency dividends and enable the digital economy to better serve the real economy," he said.

Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM Corp, said: "Technology is a driving force for human progress. Take AI as an example. It has been a monumental year for AI. We've seen the first glimpses of the potential for generative AI to upend just about every industry."

AI is projected to enhance human productivity and unlock $4.4 trillion in value each year by 2030, Krishna said. "Not only will this fuel economic growth and boost GDP, but it will also offer a competitive edge to individuals and organizations who effectively leverage its capabilities."

As a key provider of AI for business, IBM offers its AI platform watsonx to many customers, including Chinese companies, to improve their time to value, he said. Time to value is a metric used to measure the amount of time it takes new customers to get value from a product or service.

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