China’s AI Goals Remain ‘Aspirational’
China launched an aggressive AI strategy last year that “set a very ambitious goal for AI industry development in China between now and 2030,” according to Xiaomeng Lu, international public policy manager for technology consultant Access Partnership. Lu nevertheless stressed that institutional roadblocks remain, especially strict controls on access to government data that severely limit AI researchers who need lots of local data for model training and other development steps.
Lu told a recent panel discussion the global AI race that China’s strategy includes three components: technology advancement, industry expansion and establishing an AI policy roadmap. Beijing’s initial goal is catching up with the rest of the world in AI development by 2020. “By 2030, China wants to be the leading nation in AI,” Lu said.
Meanwhile, China hopes to build a $150 billion industry by 2030 generating $1.5 trillion in in annual economic growth from AI technology.
While the first two goals remain “aspirational,” she added that China may be in the best position to establish regulations and technical standards for AI over the next decade. Lu noted, however, that China’s previous roadmaps for technologies like semiconductors and an indigenously developed operating system have fallen short in previous five-year plans. Still, China has achieved greater success developing cutting-edge supercomputers.
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