Why Google is building its new artificial intelligence research center in China

Although both the large technology companies and emerging companies in Silicon Valley have had the advantage of being especially attractive to the brightest talent, the career in the field of artificial intelligence increasingly involves other actors with greater strength apparent. One of them is the People’s Republic of China, the country in which Google is going to build its first artificial intelligence research center in Asia.

Fei-Fei Li, Google Coud’s chief artificial intelligence and machine learning researcher, begins the announcement of the Google AI China Center as follows:

Since I became a teacher 12 years ago and joined Google a year ago, I have been fortunate to work with many talented Chinese engineers, researchers and technologists.

China is home to many of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The three winning teams of ImageNet Challenge in the last three years have been mostly composed of Chinese researchers. Chinese authors contributed 43% of all the content of the top 100 IA journals in 2015 and when the Association for the Advancement of AI discovered that its annual meeting overlapped with the Chinese New Year this year, they rescheduled the meeting.

The capital impulse of the Chinese authorities

What Li says is not coincidence, nor is it that China can be a leading leader in artificial intelligence in less than two decades. It all has to do with the intention of the Chinese government authorities to build a national artificial intelligence industry worth 150 billion US dollars. They want it to be the most important.

The ambitions were unleashed, according to the New York Times, when the AlphaGo intelligence defeated a famous South Korean teacher and the best world player, Ke Jie, in the strategic game Go.

From this point, the People’s Republic of China fixed this technology as one of its main objectives. The lifting of a leading international industry capable of being a leader. This July, they also announced their development plan . It has established the large investment and the purpose of it: be the best in IA in 2030.

And they are already working on this by strengthening their companies, the military industry and the administration itself, also supporting emerging companies, research and ongoing projects in this field.

But first, in 2020, the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology of the Government of China, Li Meng, expects the country to match technology and research facilities on artificial intelligence like the one that will shortly open Google to those of other leading countries such as the United States. States . Reached this goal, in which the production will rise to 22,000 million dollars, it will be time to be leaders in 2030 with an estimated yield of 147,000 million.

The purpose of this great bet

This remarkable ambition seeks to stand out in artificial intelligence, to dominate part of its power and to transfer it to daily life, the achievement pursued by most researchers. From transforming agriculture, as important in the country, as making more traditional industries evolve, health care, citizen security or foreign.

Points, the latter, which come into play more than disputable and controversial purposes such as mass surveillance, which is already carried out through this type of innovation, or censorship in the network, which thanks to these advances could be even greater . Possibilities that should worry.

The few obstacles when compiling and analyzing user data is a great incentive and a great danger

Anyway, these public investments are going to be added to those that foresee to realize populations and provinces on their own – like Tianjin, which wants to create a fund of 5,000 million dollars – and other technological ones like Baidu, Alibaba or Tencent. In recent times, according to MIT Technology Review, they have not stopped hiring engineers and scientists specialized in this field. The few obstacles that companies face when it comes to collecting and analyzing user data, essential for artificial intelligence, is another incentive.

A situation that still attracts more companies to the country, favors the creation of facilities such as the Google AI China Center and favors the impulse that they want to give to this industry. It will be interesting to see how the goal that the Government of the People’s Republic of China has set for 2030 is reached or not .

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