National New-Generation AI Innovation & Development Pilot Zone established in Beijing

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The Beijing National New-Generation AI Innovation & Development Pilot Zone, the first of its kind in China, was established recently, marking Beijing's new steps in developing the artificial intelligence industry.

The AI pilot zone was unveiled by Lin Keqing, deputy mayor of Beijing, and Li Meng, vice minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, at the fifth plenary meeting held Monday by the Beijing Technology Innovation Center Promotion Office. The meeting was co-chaired by Beijing Mayor Chen Jining and Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang.

Beijing boasts excellent policy environment, a strong R&D foundation, outstanding technical advantages, and vigorous industrial development in the field of artificial intelligence. In recent years, the city has issued a number of policies and measures to support the innovation and development of artificial intelligence, providing comprehensive protection for the AI industry in terms of industrial environment cultivation, technological innovation, financial support, and human resource services.

In November 2018, Beijing released the "Zhiyuan Action Plan" and established a new R&D institution—Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence (BAAI)—to support scientists to brave the "no man's area" of AI technology and make disruptive breakthroughs in AI theory, methods, tools and systems, to lead in the frontier of AI and technological innovation and promote the extensive application of artificial intelligence.

The establishment of the AI pilot zone is another major measure for Beijing to fully promote the development of artificial intelligence. According to reports, the AI pilot area will innovate on institutional mechanism, vigorously promote the "Zhiyuan Action Plan" to cultivate and gather innovative talents, strengthen frontier research, build a collaborative innovation system integrating resources of government, industry, and research institutions, and establish an open artificial intelligence platform.

In addition, the pilot area shall aim to build a number of AI application scenarios for demonstration of AI applications, establish a set of policy measures, safety ethics, and laws and regulations conducive to the healthy development of the industry, and take the lead in conducting pilot tests and promoting the formulation of artificial intelligence standards. It will explore new models and new ideas for the innovative development of AI and promote the in-depth integration of artificial intelligence and economic and social development.

The pilot area will strive to achieve a number of internationally leading achievements in AI theory, technology, and applications, and form a set of replicable and scalable experiences and practices with the ultimate purpose of making Beijing the fountainhead of the global AI academic thinking, basic theory, top-notch professionals, corporate innovation, and development policies.

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