China looks to lead pack in artificial intelligence

China aims to make the artificial intelligence industry a “new, important” driver of economic expansion by 2020, according to a development plan issued by the State Council. Policymakers want to be global leaders, with the AI industry generating more than $59 billion of output per year by 2025, according to an announcement from the Cabinet late Thursday. Key development areas include AI software and hardware, intelligent robotics and vehicles, virtual reality and augmented reality, the plan said. “Artificial intelligence has become the new focus of international competition,” the report said. “We must take the initiative to firmly grasp the next stage of AI development to create a new competitive advantage, open the development of new industries and improve the protection of national security.” The plan highlights China’s ambition to become a world power backed by its technology business giants, research centers and military, which are investing heavily in AI. Globally, the technology will contribute as much as $15.7 trillion to output by 2030, according to a PwC report last month. That’s more than the current combined output of China and India. “The positive economic ripples could be pretty substantial,” said Kevin Lau, a senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank in…


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