Beijing takes big strides in supporting AI development

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The second Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence (BAAI) Conference opened online on June 21. As the most important global event in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), the conference is expected to attract as many as 30,000 people, including five Turing Award winners.

Scientists and industry professionals from China and overseas will conduct in-depth exchanges around topics related to AI including its mathematical foundations, intelligent system architecture and chips, cognitive neural foundation, and the ethics of AI, while also attempting to map out "the next decade of AI."

Li Meng, vice minister of China's Ministry of Science and Technology, said that since the COVID-19 outbreak, AI has played an important role in epidemiological investigations, medical diagnosis, and community prevention and control. The epidemic has also spawned a series of new AI application scenarios. Li believes that Beijing's edge in AI will allow it to take the lead nationally and achieve more breakthroughs.

Beijing launched its new-generation national AI innovative development pilot zone on Feb. 18, 2019 — the first of its kind in the country. At present, the city has nearly 40,000 AI-related talents, accounting for about 60% of the national total, and more than 1,000 companies in the field of AI, which is more than 30% of those in the country. In order to build the capital into a smart city, Beijing plans to build seven new-generation AI open innovative platforms, with the major programs and projects also being open for AI technologies and applications.

Huang Tiejun, president of the BAAI, said that the institute has currently selected a total of 85 AI talents to focus on innovative research and core technologies related to AI. This year, another 100 talents will be selected, and the institute will work to match them with suitable colleges and enterprises in Beijing so as to give full play to their abilities.

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