Chinese lawmakers, political advisors expound on AI – SHINE News

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The artificial intelligence (AI) industry is set to take off in China as the country strives to modernize its industrial system and develop new quality productive forces.

The AI industry – an emerging and future-oriented industry – has been a topic of great concern at the ongoing “two sessions,” the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference . Major concerns include computing power, storage power and AI-related security.

“At this year’s two sessions, we are closely following the country’s policies and measures related to the development of the AI industry, and expect enhanced support for key fields, including the layout of computing power and the construction of data annotation bases,” said Luo Yunfeng, an NPC deputy.

Building computing power

Computing power is the foundation of the AI industry. Luo, mayor of Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui Province, said it is imperative to promote industrial rejuvenation and accelerate the construction of computing power centers.

Hefei is known for its sci-tech innovation and dynamic, tech-intensive industries. It has formed an AI ecosystem that includes leading enterprises and an industrial cluster, making it a pioneer in the cultivation of AI industry in China. Approximately 2,400 AI-related enterprises in the city cover a wide range of fields such as basic hardware, data calculation, basic application technologies, intelligent terminals, and industrial application.

The city has also been a pioneer in its construction of an intelligent computing center to sustain sci-tech institutions and enterprises across China.

“Efforts should be made to expand the layouts of key areas of the AI industry, such as intelligent model algorithms, intelligent robots, and intelligent chips,” Luo said.

China will strive to modernize its industrial system and develop new quality productive forces at an accelerated pace, according to the government work report submitted at the NPC session. The report lists a series of tasks, including the innovative development of the digital economy and the launch of an AI Plus initiative.

Enhancing data storage

AI technology has been applied in many fields, including medical imaging, disease diagnosis and drug development.

“Massive data support is required to apply AI in so many fields,” said Feng Dan, an NPC deputy and dean of the School of Computer Science and Technology at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Noting that memory and storage systems are carriers of data, Feng said they are related to the industrial security of the digital economy as well as the national security.

Without well-stored data, sufficient computing power and stable network transmission capabilities, the industry would not be able to give full play to the value of data elements or provide high-quality digital products and services, Feng added.

However, insufficient AI data storage and the imbalance between storage and computing power are becoming key factors curbing the development of AI in China, according to Feng.

She said that the development of computing power and data storage should be coordinated, and that policies guiding the development of AI computing infrastructure should be formulated and fine-tuned.

Ensuring AI security

While the advancement of AI technology has greatly improved productivity, its regulation has met with challenges.

NPC deputy Min Weidong said that the existing governance framework and control measures for AI still need to be improved.

“For example, how can we determine who are responsible for accidents caused by AI systems such as drones or autonomous vehicles?” said Min, a professor at the School of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Nanchang University.

Min suggested that laws and ethical codes be formulated to clarify the limits and obligations of AI and AI algorithms in terms of use and application, so as to better protect the safety and interests of the public.

Strengthening international cooperation and standardization is necessary to develop a set of ethical norms and a governance framework that has global consensus, he added.

Zhou Hongyi, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, said that digital security is the foundation of the digital economy while AI is the cusp.

“I have been concerned about how to balance the AI and digital security,” said Zhou, chairman of Chinese Internet security firm Qihoo 360, adding that the country’s digital security is challenged by the unbalanced development of small, medium and large entities in the industry, and that the gaps between different regions are widening.

Zhou suggested that the country should build public-service digital security infrastructure at the national, industrial and city levels, and cultivate a modern, productive service industry centered on digital security.

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