Country set to step up R&D of future-oriented tech

2023-11-06 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

An exhibitor's representative tries a bicycle featuring virtual reality technology at the opening of the sixth China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Sunday. (ZHANG WEI / CHINA DAILY)

China will step up efforts to develop future industries and cutting-edge technologies, in order to offer greater vitality for global industrial development and economic growth, government officials, company executives and industry experts said on Sunday.

They made the remarks at a session of the Hongqiao International Economic Forum during the sixth China International Import Expo in Shanghai. The session focused on future industries, which mainly refer to emerging sectors including artificial intelligence, humanoid robots and the industrial internet.

Xin Guobin, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said China will promote the research and development of cutting-edge technologies to create an innovation collaboration circle globally.

He emphasized that more efforts will also be made to develop future industries to promote the upgrading of traditional industries, especially the integration of AI and metaverse with manufacturing.

"China welcomes global partners, including international R&D institutions, to jointly promote new technological breakthroughs and create a global source of innovation," Xin said.

"We will also give full play to the role of bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms to deepen exchanges and mutual trust in policy standards and rules, and strengthen global digital governance," he added.

For more global cooperation on technology and related policies, Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council, said at the session that an integrated technology ecosystem could create value on a global scale.

"Innovative capabilities and large domestic markets of both the US and China offer great potential for bilateral cooperation, especially in science, public health and the green technology sector," he said.

Allen noted that the United States is home to many of the companies that lead global innovation and technology development, while China has seen dramatic growth since its reform and opening-up and enabled world-class innovations.

"Collaboration at the company level could provide the types of new technology that we need to address daunting challenges of climate change, public health and feeding a hungry world," he said.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China has made breakthroughs in cutting-edge technologies like AI large language models and brain-computer interfaces. The country also aims to boost its aggregate computing power, a key technology driving AI application, by more than 30 percent by 2025.

Buoyed by such momentum, Chinese companies are also stepping up efforts in developing cutting-edge technologies and future industries and strive to promote more industrial applications of such technologies.

As ChatGPT from Open AI, a US company, takes the tech world by storm, Jia Jiaya, founder of smart manufacturing company SmartMore, said the Chinese company didn't follow the trend blindly.

"We found that GPT-4 is less efficient in the industrial sector and it is where we found opportunities," Jia said. His company developed industry GPT, one of the first in the industrial sector, which aims to leverage the large language model to drive the efficiency of industrial sectors.

"No large language model in the world can serve high-end manufacturing currently, and we hope that Chinese companies can develop such large language models to enable frontier technologies to empower industries," he added.

Jin Zhuanglong, minister of industry and information technology, said in an interview with China Central Television on Saturday that technologies such as AI can empower China's new industrialization push, and their applications in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and the metaverse will be an important symbol of a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation.

The country will step up research on future-oriented technologies such as AI and introduce industrial policies to encourage local governments to take the lead in piloting its applications, he said.

Jin said that in the first three quarters of this year, China's industrial economy stabilized and rebounded, showing a positive trend of recovery, and more efforts will be made to unleash the vitality of enterprises for more positive momentum of economic recovery.

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