2018 ushers in China’s new plans for building a Research Park to develop Artificial Intelligence, worth 13.8 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) pursuant to their blueprint of completing its construction by 2023 and their aim of being the world leader in AI by 2030. Xinhua, the official press agency of the People’s Republic of China, has reported that the said park will be situated in the Mentougou district of Beijing, covering 54.87 hectares.
The goal is to put a price of 1 trillion yuan on the industry, hosting the investment of 400 business companies and generating an output revenue of 50 billion yuan. The park shall mostly focus on the development of high-speed data, biometrics, cloud computing, a strand of AI known as “deep-learning” comprising practical applications in driverless cars, preventive healthcare, and even better movie recommendations.
Tension regarding border security and international relations may ensue, as China not only aims at the expansion of technical advancements and commercialization of AI in ‘smart cities’ but also plans on strengthening military prowess through the use of the same. This has caught the attention of the United States of America as Pentagon has recently reported the rising concern about Chinese firms’ investments in US’s start-up companies and recommended the use of more stringent controls.
An affiliate of the Chinese e-commerce stalwart, Alibaba was denied a merger worth millions with Ant Financial for the above reason, as the US government did not approve of the said plan of MoneyGram. On the other hand, venture capitalist Jim Breyer has commented that USA will trump China’s goal of being the world leader of AI and compared it to the “space race of the ‘50s”. This assumption was made on his keen faith in the genii of the Silicon Valley, which he said in a CNBC-hosted panel discussion in November 2017.
The initiative, headed by Zhongguancun Development Group, will seek collaborations with universities overseas and in China, including research institutes and large companies, for the foundation of a series of research hubs on the premises. Xinhua says that the endeavor will involve a “national-level” AI lab.