China’s science and technology minister said on Saturday that the government had made an open-source platform to boost the development of artificial intelligence (AI), as part of a plan to make China a world-leader in this field by 2030. He said that offering AI on open-source platforms would help with its scientific development and help it rapidly expand, allowing the creation of a new generation of AI. “Open-source platforms are needed because AI can play a bigger role in development and make it easier for entrepreneurs to have access to resources,” Wan Gang said in a press conference to mark a session of the National People’s Assembly.
The minister said that the technology had been an area of development in China since 1980, and now the country wanted to lead the sector through the national plan – started by President Xi Jinping – which involves multiple ministries in order to apply the technology in all fields. He also highlighted the achievements made in the area in the last few years, such as the development of intelligent vehicles, facial recognition at airports and train stations or some companies developing robots that improve people’s’ quality of life.
Wan said promotion of scientific research and development has been a key Chinese policy, with increased state investment and incentives. “The level of scientific innovation has improved. We are leading in some fields and catching up in others,” the minister said, adding that there was a need to fortify regulation of the AI technology.
The minister said research gains in China have had a global impact. A plan launched by China last year aims to make the country a leader in the area of AI by 2030 and apply the technology to industry, urban planning, agriculture and defence. The plan aims to boost production of AI-related technology to touch the figure of $22 billion by 2020, rise to $60 billion in 2025, and $147 billion in 2030.