Zhongguancun tech forum to focus on AI – ecns

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China’s upcoming 2024 Zhongguancun Forum, which will focus on cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence, is expected to be more international than previous events, officials said on Wednesday.

The forum, scheduled for Beijing from April 25 to 29 and themed “Innovation: Building a Better World”, will comprise five major sections, including forums and meetings, technology trading, unveiling of achievements, and competitions in cutting-edge fields.

Up to 120 events are planned, with invitations extended to top scientists, including Nobel laureates, to engage in discussions on open innovation and explore opportunities for mutual development.

“The speakers from overseas at the forum will account for more than half this year, and foreign guests from over 100 countries and regions are expected to attend the event,” Yu Yingjie, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Beijing Municipal Committee, said at a news conference on Wednesday.

He said this year’s forum will invite 19 international organizations and foreign government departments to host 17 parallel forums during the event.

“Considering the increasing attention on the AI sector, we have set April 27 as ‘AI Theme Day’, on which several special forums will be held, covering hot topics such as large-scale AI models and embodied AI,” Yu said. “We will unveil a series of major scientific and technological achievements of the country.”

This year’s competitions have amassed over 3,100 entries from 75 countries and regions, covering areas such as quantum information, photon computing and the metaverse.

“For the first time, the cutting-edge competition has set up four overseas competition areas in North America, Europe, Asia, and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, with international projects accounting for over 40 percent,” Yu said.

“With the support of relevant departments and commissions, we have provided port visas and convenient currency exchange services for foreign guests in need.”

Chen Jiachang, vice-minister of science and technology, said at the news conference that China’s opening-up and cooperation efforts will be highlighted at this year’s forum by the extension of invitations to international science and technology organizations, scientists, innovative enterprises and investors.

“We will share the fruits of research through a series of events including a technology trading conference and cutting-edge competitions,” Chen said.

“The forum will also see the establishment of a trade and cooperation platform featuring over 3,000 sci-tech achievements from more than 40 countries and regions.”

Between April 27 and 29, the eighth China Science Fiction Convention, a parallel sub-forum, will be held, with a focus on technology, creation and industrial development in the realm of science fiction.

Located in northwestern Beijing, Zhongguancun houses more than 17,000 national high-tech enterprises. It is China’s first national high-tech industrial development zone and is known as “China’s Silicon Valley”.

The total revenue of major enterprises in Zhongguancun last year was estimated at 8.6 trillion yuan ($1.2 trillion), accounting for about 16.7 percent of the total for the 178 high-tech zones in the country, according to data from the city government.


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