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NPC deputy calls for national strategy to develop AI

By Liu Zheng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-06 19:30
NPC deputy calls for national strategy to develop AI

Lei Jun, deputy to the National People's Congress, speaks to media, on March 6, 2017 during a press conference held in Beijing. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/ chinadaily.com.cn]

The feverish development of artificial intelligence (AI) in the country needs government guidance.

Lei Jun, deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), called on the government to lay down top-down structures and special planning on the development of AI at a news conference held on Monday during the country's annual legislative and political advisory meetings.

"The success of AlphaGo, powered by Deep Learning technology, had drawn the attention of the general public on AI and it may drive a new technological revolution," said Lei, also founder and CEO of Xiaomi Corp.

Lei said in the coming 10 years, AI-driven technologies would surpass the abilities of human beings in a lot of fields.

Xiaomi announced decision to build an AI research and development lab last year. Some commercialized products are expected to be launched in the next six months.

According to Lei, "Internet Plus", the national strategy on Big Data development and "Made in China 2025" are some of the highlights in the Government Work Report that promote new technologies to boost the upgrade and development of the nation's traditional industries.

He believes that if the AI development is formulated as a national strategy, many industries and even the society will benefit from the move.

"By transforming the solid technological reserves in Big Data and cloud computing services, the superiorities achieved during the mobile internet development in the past few years will give China more opportunities to stand out from the crowds," Lei added.

This year, Lei submitted three proposals. Apart from the AI promotion one, he also appealed to stimulate the "real economy" by vigorously developing "new retail" and seizes the opportunities provided by the "Belt and Road Initiative" to push forward Chinese tech companies going global.

Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu Inc, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, also submitted proposals to implement AI technology to find missing children and ease traffic.