Chinese tech companies tap into AI, smart phone advancements

China 24

High-tech firms are making their presence felt around the world.  It’s especially true in the field of artificial intelligence and smart phone apps.

CGTN’s Wang Guan reports.

Chinese tech companies tap into AI, smart phone advancements

Chinese tech companies tap into AI, smart phone advancements

High-tech firms are making their presence felt around the world. It’s especially true in the field of artificial intelligence and smart phone apps.
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During this year’s National People’s Congress, it was a video showing an off-the-cuff moment of the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that went viral on the Chinese internet.

The man in the video is the president of iFLYTEK, a Chinese software company specialized in artificial intelligence or AI.

Valued at $3.7 billion , iFLYTEK has emerged as a leader in voice-based internet and mobile products, such as phone apps for multi-language simultaneous translation, voice-input and Siri-like intelligent personal assistant programs.

While Siri and Google Now may boast a voice-recognition accuracy rate between 90 percent to 95 percent, iFLYTEK, according to reviews, enjoys an accuracy rate of around 98 percent. And it is virtually all Chinese technology.

iFLYTEK is just one example of China’s rapid rise in AI. And the world is noticing.

Last October, then-U.S. President Barack Obama released a strategic plan for AI research, noting that the U.S. no longer dominated journal articles on so-called “deep learning,” an important subset of AI research.

It said the U.S. “no longer led the world in publication numbers, or even publications receiving at least one citation.” That’s because the country that now leads is China.

Another sign of China’s growth in the field came when a major world conference on AI was originally scheduled to overlap with the Chinese lunar new year in January. Faced with the likelihood that Chinese researchers wouldn’t show up, AAAI scrambled to reschedule.

When the conference did convene in San Francisco in February, Chinese researchers had a strong showing, presenting an equal number of accepted research papers as their U.S. counterparts.

The rise of China in AI has been helped by government investment in scientific research at its universities. Over the past decade, government spending on research has grown by double digits on average every year.

Chinese tech companies, such as Tencent, are doing their part, pouring serious research dollars into Chinese universities.

However, AI researchers warn that to be a true leader in the field, China still needs to improve its protection of intellectual property, overhaul its education system, which focuses on test scores, and incentivize more overseas Chinese and foreign scientists to work in China.