International competition on AI, robots launched
A global competition on AI and robots kicked off on Tuesday to provide further push to the two sectors playing an increasingly important role in China's economy.
Focusing on four major regions in China — Bohai Rim, Yangtze River Delta, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the central and western regions, the competition promotes the theory of "demand oriented, project discovery, and industry cultivation".
You Zheng, vice-president of Tsinghua University, said AI and robots were becoming core technologies that will determine the competitiveness of China in the future.
"AI and robots are increasingly enhancing social productivity. Driven by continuous innovation, China will enhance the overall competitiveness, protect national security and boost economic strength by speeding up breakthroughs in key technologies," You said.
The competition will offer cash rewards to the winning teams as well as continuing valuable services, such as application development, investment incubation, training, innovation incentives, and project application.
Liu Zhen, deputy director of the expert committee of the competition and vice-president of Guangdong Bozhilin Robot Co Ltd, released the proposition of the competition.
Liu said the competition is centered on "Innovative AI technologies applied to robots", which is oriented to breakthrough technical difficulties and solve the common needs of the industrial chain. Projects emphasize progress and application focusing on unmanned systems, machine vision, human-machine hybrid, algorithms, 5G, blockchain, and big data.
Zhang Bo, dean of the Institute of Artificial Intelligence of Tsinghua University, said that the essential factor for the development of AI and robots is innovation. Improving technologies in new application scenarios is an important way of robot development. He added that the purpose of the competition is to encourage innovation and empower industries to discover and cultivate new talents.
China's AI market will continue to heat up, and the market size will maintain a growth rate of about 30 percent, according to a report by China Center for Information Industry Development. By 2021, the market of AI sector will exceed 80 billion yuan ($11.8 billion), the report showed.