Beijing to build $2 billion research park as China races to world dominance in AI

The park, which could house 400 enterprises, is part of China's larger mission to become a world leader in artificial intelligence by 2025.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Beijing announced plans to build a $2.12 billion AI research park Wednesday.
  • With spots for 400 enterprises, the park may help China towards its goal of dominating the global AI market by 2025.

Beijing is building a $2.12 billion-13.8 billion yuan-artificial intelligence (AI) research park, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

The announcement comes as China tries to solidify its spot as a global AI leader by 2025, potentially leading to a power shift between China and the US according to one report. China has led the international AI race since 2014, when it stole the top spot from the US, according to the MIT Technological Review.

Chinese authorities estimate the park's 400 enterprise spots will produce 50 billion yuan-about $7.68 billion-annually. The park will focus on emerging technologies including big data, deep learning, cloud computing, and biometric identification, according to Reuters.

SEE: Quick glossary: Artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

The park developer, Zhongguancun Development Group, also plans to build an AI lab for foreign university partnerships, according to Xinhua. Some tech giants, including Google, have built or are looking to build AI research centers in the country.

The investment supports China's dedication to the AI industry, which its State Council hopes to grow to a 150 billion yuan industry by 2020, and to 400 billion yuan by 2025, according to the Xinhua report. In 2015, McKinsey predicted AI could turn into a $50 trillion dollar industry around the world.

Other plans, including a dedicated zone for autonomous driving, span the public, private, and military sectors in hopes of growing the AI industry.

In order to keep up, other countries may need to make similar investments in AI research and development if they want to be considered an industry leader in the coming years.

And the results could expand past the tech industry: China is experimenting with AI uses for the military, and may not adopt a policy requiring a human role in machine-created offenses. Some think this may cause a shift in military power between the countries.

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Image: iStockphoto/bingdian

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is an Education Reporter at Insider Louisville.

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