As traditional economies gradually lose growth momentum, artificial intelligence (AI) is going to become the new engine to drive the next-wave growth of human civilization, said Xu Li, co-founder and CEO of Chinese AI unicorn SenseTime, at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference. Xu further expounded that AI will have a similar role the steam engine has played for the industrial revolution a hundred years ago.

Over the past ten years, a wealth of signs have shown that we are heading for a new revolutionary era. The production of CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor), a crucial electronic component for visual input, surged since 2014 thanks to the popularity of smartphones and internet-of-things (IoT) devices. The world’s top GPU maker Nvidia has recorded skyrocketing growth since 2017. The short video industry has boomed since late last year with the support of new technologies. The fast growth of these industries can find their roots in the wider application of AI technology, Xu argues.

“But before AI could turn to a powerful engine and change the world in a fundamental way, it has to realize large-scale application and integration with different industries,” said Xu.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.