AI technology to help in 'intelligent' transformation

Updated 2018-05-17 11:03:03 China Daily

Technicians demonstrate an intelligent assistor at the ongoing Second World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin. (Photo by Jia Chenglong/For China Daily)

China should harness opportunities arising from the development of artificial intelligence technologies, the core driving force for a new round of industrial revolution, to achieve intelligent manufacturing and high-quality growth, government officials and business leaders said at the ongoing Second World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin on Wednesday.

AI has rapidly changed people's lifestyle and production mode, with wide applications in the fields of city planning, intelligent transportation, social management, healthcare and national security, and boosted the development of the real economy, said Wan Gang, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"We should pay more attention to core technologies and algorithms, the research and development of basic materials, sensing technology, key devices and equipment, as so to rebuild the industrial chain of AI technologies," Wan said.

Wan added that the application of AI will change the employment structure and help weed out some obsolete jobs and is hence important to speed up job-transfer training for employees.

Zhou Ji, president of the Chinese Academy of Engineer-ing, said: "We should seize the opportunities offered by new generation intelligent manufacturing and make technical innovation the primary force for manufacturing transformation and upgrading."

China's tech heavyweights expressed their desire to apply AI and automation technologies to greatly enhance the supply chain and operational efficiencies, as well as transform the traditional business models.

E-commerce giant JD plans to transform 800 logistics centers into unmanned warehouses gradually across the country within the next five years, said Liu Qiangdong, chairman and CEO of the company.

JD has built an unmanned businesses-to-consumer warehouse in Shanghai, which can handle tens of thousands of orders on a 24-hour basis.

"The development of AI will not result in unemployment, but liberate people from burdensome jobs. Meanwhile, we can do what we love and spend more time with family members," Liu said.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said upon the arrival of the intelligent era, many great changes will take place in the next five to 10 years. "We must be aware that the future technological revolution is far beyond our imagination, which will also offer a lot of new opportunities for China."

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