Guangzhou will begin offering courses in artificial intelligence to primary and middle school students in the next academic year, beginning in September. The city government plan envisages that by 2022, all schools in the city will have AI courses in their regular curriculum to help train and nurture AI talent for the city.
Huawei Technologies has had time to develop new business lines while fighting off the US government, apparently. The company announced this week its joint venture with Kingmed Diagnostics, a third-party medical testing institution, had been “making progress” in using AI to help with diagnosis of cervical cancer.
Using Huawei’s AI development platform ModelArts, the screening model is able to use the diagnostic criteria of pathologists to assist the screening of cervical cancer. On the basis of a rejection rate higher than 60%, the model can achieve 99% correction rate of the interpretation of negative films and 99.9% of positive lesions.
The new model can help fill in the gap between the limited number of pathologists and an estimated 350 million female women eligible to be examined. The traditional screening process requires pathologists to read the film under microscopes one by one, with judgments based on the human eye and personal experience, which requires a training process of around 10 years. There are only 20,000 registered pathologists in China, however, and another 80,000 to 100,000 are needed.
Just when you thought the Greater Bay Area couldn’t possibly squeeze in another special zone for the development of artificial intelligence, Guangzhou announces one of its own. Only this one comes with a ferry terminal and is situated right in the middle of the capital city, next to the home of the world’s biggest trade fair.
OK, so it’s not precisely in the middle of the city. Guangzhou is a big place, home to 14 million people and counting. Pazhou, to the southeast of the Haizhu district, is on the other side of the river from Zhujiang New Town and the Guangzhou International Finance Center. But as the city’s master planners describe it, the three form a “golden triangle in Guangzhou’s CBD development”. In any case, the Pazhou Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy Experimental Zone has been approved and construction is under way.
Yang Xiaohui, Pazhou’s party secretary, said the new ferry terminal will be completed by next year’s Autumn session of the Canton Fair (October). Its main advantage will be as a connection option for passengers coming in and out of the Hong Kong International airport, which has no plans to connect anytime soon to the province’s high-speed railway network. An airport journey will take only two hours, port to port, and will offer check-in and entry/exit services.
It is useless to resist: Shenzhen has released a five-year plan to develop the next generation of artificial intelligence. In the process, the 40-year-old city will position itself as a hub of innovation in AI and will establish 10 targeted industrial clusters with a total value of RMB30 billion by 2023.
According to local media, Shenzhen plans to develop an “all-rounded AI innovation system”. It will focus on six areas: frontline basic research, smart products, technology implementation, infrastructure, talent management, risk management, and legislation.
But this is not being done for selfish reasons. It is to “support the Greater Bay Area to become the center of technology innovation and the pilot of AI implementation”. Along the way, Shenzhen will build a Greater Bay Area AI Open Innovation platform and become a “smart city” by applying AI technology from industrial fields like manufacturing and business to “fields of everyday life” like healthcare, education, and merchandising.
The government will also strengthen its legislative foundations for the industry and build a robust regulatory system to “protect data safety and personal privacy”.
Tencent’s annual Digital China Index Report, which tracks the spread of “digital government” shows Guangdong in the lead, followed by Beijing, Shandong and Zhejiang.
The provincial government’s integrated WeChat mini-program platform offers more than 100 types of services and has more than 10 million registered users, accounting for 12% of the province’s population.
Guangzhou surpassed Shenzhen, leaping to first place among all cities.
The report also showed that a local government’s level of digitalization has a strong correlation with its GDP growth. Digitalizing government affairs attracts external investment and ultimately helps to boost productivity through innovation, it said.
Hengqin has launched an Intelligent Computing Center in cooperation with Beijing’s Cambricon Technologies, incubated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The new facility will provide advanced artificial intelligence solutions to “address urbanization challenges,” according to China Daily.
Hengqin has accelerated the building of an integrated communications infrastructure, following the Greater Bay Area masterplan. It includes a 100% fiber-optic backbone, free WiFi network, and big data-based cloud computing center that supports all public information systems.
Shenzhen-based artificial intelligence-enabled start-up Zhuiyi Technology has raised $41 million in a Series C round led by China Merchants Group, according to DealStreetAsia.
Zhuiyi Technology develops AI-based chatbots for online customer service. Known as YiBot, the software uses deep learning and natural language processing based on large amounts of data in order to provide personalized service to customers online.
The funds raised will be used to expand the company’s overseas operations.
The Shenzhen Cyberspace Laboratory has teamed up with the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen to build three large-scale projects focused on AI. According to the laboratory, the first, “Cloud Brain” will build a nationwide distributed artificial intelligence infrastructure; the second, “Target Range” will focus on cyber-security; the third, Cloud Net, is a network emulation platform.
One of four approved by Guangdong provincial authorities, the lab opened in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District last year. One of its goals is to promote the establishment of an international center for scientific and technological innovation in the Greater Bay Area.
Intel Capital has announced new investments totalling US$117 million in 14 technology startups, including Zhuhai EEasy Technology Co, according to an official release and reported by DealStreetAsia.
EEasy Technology Co. Ltd is an AI system-on-chip (SoC) design house and total solution provider. Its offerings include AI acceleration; image and graphic processing; video encoding and decoding; and mixed-signal ULSI design capabilities.
Each year, Intel Capital puts US$300 million to US$500 million into innovative companies across a wide range of emerging technologies.
Another Chinese company, Shanghai-based Cloudpick Limited, a smart retail technology provider, also won this year’s Intel funding. The 12 remaining startups are mostly from the US, with one from Israel, and represent communications, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.