China's artificial intelligence plan aims for world-leader status by 2025

Artificial intelligence is a hot industry with governments and private companies alike scrambling to stay ahead. Earlier today, China announced a plan to make itself one of the global leaders in AI technologies, something that would see the nation's core artificial intelligence industries exceeding the $22 billion valuation mark by the year 2020 and, assuming everything goes as planned, exceeding $59 billion by the year 2025.

Details about the plan and the expected valuation in coming years were issued today by China's State Council, which said this national AI development plan will help give it a 'new competitive edge,' among other things. China isn't the first country to announce plans for a national-tier AI project — the US did something similar back in October, for example. The move to get ahead on AI technologies has big military significance for governments around the world.

In China's case, it will need to deal with a lack of high-end computing hardware and software, among other things, if it wants its plan to proceed as intended. The country will also need to heavily invest in personnel trained in the technology. To help with that latter aspect, China plans to 'promote mutual development' between the government and the nation's private entities, including academia and private corporations.

Talking about the plan, China's State Council said, 'The situation with China on national security and international competition is complex — we must take initiative to firmly grasp this new stage of development for artificial intelligence and create a new competitive edge.' Among other things, the Chinese government anticipates using a variety of market regulations and policies to bolster the industry, making the nation's government a larger part of the AI effort.

As it stands, China is currently home to both private and state artificial intelligence efforts, some of which focus on the technology's applicability to the military. Some major Chinese entities and corporations are helping lead the nation's AI work, including internationally-known Baidu

SOURCE: Reuters