Baidu President Zhang Yaqin said, “AI could mean China leading the world” at the GMIC Beijing tech conference that had been opened with physicist Stephen Hawking’s portentous predictions for the technology.

“The first major advantage is the quantity of data China has for AI to use,” said Zhang participating in the Leadership in the Artificial Intelligence Era panel. “The second advantage for AI innovation is the same as for any technology – talent… If you look back over the last ten years, the quantity of Chinese AI researchers, whether in China or overseas, has begun to exceed that of other countries, passing the US in 2014. So the overall quantity is already large and we’re already seeing a series of world-class AI applications, including at Baidu. We’re seeing a merging of these two advantages – big data and high-quality talent which, in the field of AI, put China in such a good position globally.”

The former Microsoft employee believes that in the new field of AI, China can grab the same status as it did in mobile.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...