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China Daily Global / 2021-05 / 21 / Page001

AI to play bigger role in boosting high-quality growth, specialists say

By MA SI in Beijing and YANG CHENG in Tianjin | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-05-21 00:00

With next-generation artificial intelligence booming around the world, the technology will play a bigger role in fueling industrial upgrade, carbon reduction and high-quality development in China, according to speakers at the 19th Vision China event.

Jointly organized by China Daily and the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Tianjin Municipal Committee, the event, titled "New Era of Intelligence: Empowering New Development, Fostering New Pattern", was broadcast online to a global audience on Thursday night. It coincided with the ongoing 5th World Intelligence Congress, an event that started on the same day and runs until Sunday in Tianjin.

The congress, which features both online and offline activities this year, has grown to become a new gateway to China, showcasing the country's readiness to cooperate with the world, said Chen Zhemin, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Tianjin Municipal Committee and head of the committee's Publicity Department.

"We strive to grow by 'bringing the world to Tianjin and opening Tianjin to the world'," Chen said, adding that the city sees the manufacturing industry as its backbone and intelligent manufacturing as a path to greater strength.

According to Chen, a large number of domestic and international companies have set up shops in Tianjin, and numerous landmark projects have come to fruition in the city. The first four World Intelligence Congresses, for instance, witnessed the inking of 348 cooperation agreements involving total investment of 353.2 billion yuan ($55 billion).

Chen said the city will be a pioneer in developing intelligent technologies, and will step up efforts to chart a new pattern of growth for the intelligent industry.

Zhou Shuchun, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said: "Next-generation artificial intelligence is booming around the world and creating significant shifts in the way we live and work. The intelligent industry has become a priority for many countries.

"China has been perfecting its innovation system and ramping up efforts to become a technology powerhouse," Zhou said. "China stands ready to work with the rest of the world on artificial intelligence and share the fruits of research."

This year witnessed the release of the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, which set out China's vision for high-quality development.

"The outline has laid out plans on innovation and on how to harness intelligent technology to serve the development of the manufacturing, services, agriculture, emerging industries and other sectors," Zhou said.

Alain Benichou, CEO of IBM Greater China Group, said AI can play an important part in helping companies match consumer expectations, increase core efficiencies and differentiate themselves.

"Here in China, I have seen CEOs across all industries such as banking, manufacturing, retail and telecom are now very focused on pushing forward with digitalization and AI," Benichou said.

Edward Tse, founder and CEO of Gao Feng Advisory Co, said China is on the cusp of a new technological era as it witnesses new growth opportunities from new consumption forms and new business models across industries.

"The pandemic has driven a lot of changes in how we live life and how business models are being developed, which is piggybacking on the development of technology," Tse said.

Chan Ching Chuen, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, highlighted the need for an integration of humans, artificial intelligence and environment to tackle the energy revolution that is going on around the world.

Achieving sustainability, reliability and affordability are three major challenges in the energy revolution, and as the energy network becomes increasingly complex, AI is needed to help people navigate such a network, said Chan, who is also a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom.

Wang Yu, a research fellow at Tianjin University's College of Intelligence and Computing, said, "With the development of AI, industrial applications will blossom, and we will enter a new era of intelligence."

"The environment, for instance, will be more livable. AI can play a key role to help industries achieve intelligent production and achieve the goal of green and low-carbon development faster," Wang said.


Chen Zhemin



Zhou Shuchun



Chan Ching Chuen



Edward Tse



Alain Benichou



Wang Yu



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