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China’s abundance of big data is helping the development of artificial intelligence

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By Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng 

Tekes Future Watch China – Artificial Intelligence is the latest in a series of reports prepared by Gao Feng for Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

The report is aimed at helping Tekes to study China’s digital landscape and at highlighting strategic implications for both Finnish companies and policymakers.

After decades of development, artificial intelligence has become one of the most disruptive technology enablers in today’s exponential age.  

The abundance of big data is providing a large set of training materials for machines to recognize patterns and learn.

Breakthrough developments in artificial neural networks have enabled better algorithms and the application of graphics processing units has enabled more cost-effective high-performance computing power.

We are heading towards a “singularity” point of artificial super intelligence where AI has evolved from being applied in narrow use cases only to a wide range of applications that involve machines to comprehend complex ideas, reason, think abstractly and learn from experience – from weak AI to strong AI.

AI is no longer a futuristic concept and many practical AI technologies are already being widely applied in our daily life, such as Facebook’s newsfeed, Google’s search engine, Taobao’s product recommendations, iPhone’s Siri and Meitu’s photo editing features.

AI is transforming industries just as electricity transformed almost everything 100 years ago.

It is therefore strategically important for companies to understand the potential opportunities and threats brought by AI, and for policymakers to ensure that the future development of AI would lead to sustainable prosperity for all.

In particular, China has a tremendous potential in becoming a global leader in AI. The vast amount of big data from its over 730 million online population is a gold mine.

There is also a vibrant innovation ecosystem with large pool of young talent and abundance of venture capital funds.

The government’s push in mass innovation and entrepreneurship as well as global technology leadership is also making China a unique fertile ground for AI-related innovations.

The world should take notice of China’s rise of AI.


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