China Announces Ambitious Three-Year Plan for AI Industry

◎ The MIIT report declares China’s intention to gain an international competitive advantage in AI by 2020.

On Dec. 14, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) published its plan to develop China’s artificial intelligence industry over the next three years. The MIIT report declares China’s intention to gain an international competitive advantage in AI by 2020.

What’s in the report: The MIIT report identifies eight key AI development goals.

1. Autonomous driving technology: Develop and standardize an AI network platform to support highly autonomous self-driving cars.

2. AI service robots: Mass produce AI-driven domestic and public service robots, as well as prototype robots that can assist in medical treatment, help the elderly and disabled, and fight fires.

3. AI drones: Develop 3-axis gyro stabilized consumer drones with angular control accuracy of 0.005 degrees, omnidirectional obstacle sensory range, and automatic air traffic sense-and-avoid system.

4. Medical imaging and diagnostics systems: Develop medical imaging and diagnostics systems that can detect brain, eyes, lungs, bones, cardiovascular, and mammary diseases with an accuracy of over 95 percent, a false-negative error of under 1 percent, and a false positive error of under 5 percent.

5. Video imaging identification systems: Develop face detection systems that can detect individuals in complex environments with a recognition accuracy rating of over 97 percent and a verified recognition accuracy rating of over 90 percent. The systems should also be able to support face recognition of people from different ethnicities.

6. AI conversational speech recognition systems: Develop devices that can recognize Chinese speech in different environments with an accuracy rating of 96 percent, and recognize Chinese speech in a five-meter radius with an accuracy rating of over 92 percent. The devices should also detect user intent with an accuracy rating of over 90 percent.

7. AI translation systems: Develop products that can perform Chinese-to-English, English-to-Chinese translation with an accuracy rating of over 85 percent. Upgrade AI translation systems ethnic minority language-to-Chinese translation accuracy.

8. Smart home appliances: Greatly broaden the range of smart home appliances. Increase smart television penetration rate to over 90 percent, and improve the quality of smart security systems.

Why it matters: The Chinese authorities believe that AI will exceed humanity in all areas within the next five to ten years, and that whoever controls AI will be able to sway the future of mankind. This July 20, China’s State Council released an AI development plan that elevates the development of AI to a national strategy. The State Council report also calls on China to be the world leader in AI technology by 2030.