Top Chinese tech firms are betting on AI

Updated 2017-09-01 10:01:26 CGTN

"Wang Zhe Rong Yao", or "The King of Glory" is China's most popular online game which has attracted tens of millions of players to battle it out in the online arenas.

As a MOBA, or a multi-player online battle arena game, it requires high levels of skill and cooperation between the participating players. It's already difficult to play against another human being, but can players imagine the enemy they encounter is actually a robot with artificial intelligence (AI)?

Tencent, one of China's tech giants, has been trying to incorporate AI into "The King of Glory". In the seven tiers which indicate the skill level of players, Tencent's AI has already reached the third level.

Liu Yongsheng, senior Director of Tencent's AI lab said, "Compared with the board game Go, this kind of game entails more uncertainties and more unpredictability. The way AI makes decisions in MOBA is more like how humans do it. You need to coordinate with your partner and respond in real-time to the enemy's strategy.

China's top tech companies, such as Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba, are investing heavily in AI.

Forrest Yao, vice president of Tencent said that the success of China's Internet sector during the past two decades came from the country's massive population. When all the big companies with dominant market shares reach the bottleneck of growth, they have to rely on technology, creativity and innovation to compete.

"In that sense, I believe AI is the solution and the future." Yao told CGTN.

The Chinese government announced a plan recently to build an AI industry that worth 150 billion US dollars, aiming at making China the global leader in the field by 2030.

With the world's largest number of Internet users which generates the biggest amount of data every day, China has an advantage that no other country can rival with.

But if China wants to achieve the 2030-goal, the country needs to put in more efforts in fundamental research of AI.

According to Yao, although having more AI applications and users then the US, China is still lagging behind the west in terms of fundamental research and AI talents.

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