A recent plan released by China which focuses on developing artificial intelligence (AI) does not aim to challenge any particular country in the field, a senior official said Friday, noting China is leading in some areas.
The plan places a huge emphasis on the development of next-generation AI technologies and also lists other ambitious goals.
The plan has invited widespread attention and caused some to speculate on whether China's intention is to challenge the U.S. within the field of AI.
"China releasing a development plan for AI is not to challenge any particular country, but rather put in place an arrangement to meet the strategic needs of the country's economic and social development," Li Meng, vice minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, told a press briefing on Friday, domesatic news site chinanews.com reported.
Li further said that China actually welcomes U.S. companies such as Google and Amazon to set up AI research and development.
But Li noted that China is already leading in some key areas of AI technology development. "We all know that our patents and research papers are among the top tier in the world and we are the global leader in voice recognition, machine vision and machine translation," Li was quoted as saying.
In the development plan, the State Council, China's cabinet, stated that by 2020, China will fully catch up on key technologies in AI and the sector will become a key driver of economic growth for the country.
It also stated that by 2025, China will make major breakthroughs in AI theories and research, and in some areas, China will become a global leader.