Beijing set to empower education through AI

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Science presentations in virtual reality, live transcriptions of lectures for students with disabilities, and data analysis of classroom performances are some of the examples of education aided by artificial intelligence (AI) in the Chinese capital city.

Liu Yuhui, head of the Beijing Municipal Education Commission, said the commission would actively respond to the transformation brought by AI, promote the integration of AI and education and let the two sectors empower each other.

Statistics show that 32 universities in Beijing provide AI-related doctorate or master's programs, with 44,000 postgraduate students and 12,000 teachers and researchers. Five universities provide bachelor's degree in AI.

Industry-wide, AI is also gaining increasing momentum in Beijing. The capital city is now home to about 400 AI companies, making up almost 30% of the country's total. It is also home to the largest number of AI professionals across the country: 30,000-odd talents, or 27.9% of China's total.

Authorities and experts say they believe that the rich education resources in Beijing provide momentum for the development of the AI industry, while the technologies in turn contribute to improving education.

An AI-assisted project at Capital Normal University enables professors there to help teachers and students at elementary and middle schools across the country. It has so far served 343 remote rural schools in 25 provinces, benefitting 18,000 people.

AI-related courses are also provided at some schools. Dongcheng district has partnered up with several colleges to publish AI-related textbook for elementary school students, and provide courses on AI at six elementary schools in the district.

Besides basic and higher education, authorities say they will also promote courses on AI in vocational schools.

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