Enterprises will be the main drivers of China’s push to implement artificial intelligence

Private enterprises are likely to drive China’s push to rival the United States in implementing artificial intelligence across a broad swathe of industries, aided by the sheer size of the mainland consumer market, fast-developing “smart” infrastructure and a growing focus to innovate by organisations of all sizes, technology experts said. Their views on AI as an opportunity to transform traditional industries, including transportation, financial services, retail and media, took centre stage at the opening on Tuesday of this year’s Rise technology conference, which concludes on Thursday. China was the world’s second-biggest investor in AI enterprises last year, injecting US$2.6 billion into the sector, according to the state-run Chinese think tank Wuzhen Institute. The US topped the list with US$17.9 billion in investments. Li Zhifei, the founder and chief executive of AI start-up Mobvoi, said conditions are ripe for China to take the lead in rolling out self-driving or autonomous vehicles across the country before the US. “Right now, China has many companies working on autonomous driving and computer vision algorithms, while the venture capital industry invests huge amounts of money on start-ups,” Li said. “Traffic is so bad in many big cities that the Chinese government sees the need for autonomous driving.” There are likely…


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