Briefing: China to open 400 big data, AI majors at its universities in 2019

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China to open 400 big data, AI majors in universities for global competition – People’s Daily

What happened: China will form around 400 new majors relating to artificial intelligence, robotics, and big data at universities around the country in 2019. According to Fan Hailin, a deputy director at the Department of Higher Education, the curriculum for the newly established majors will include “computer application technology, information and communication, [and] control science and engineering.” The Ministry of Education also plans to continue promoting online courses during the year.

Why it’s important: China has set out ambitious plans to become an artificial intelligence powerhouse in the next ten years, with eyes on transforming itself into a world leader in the technology by 2030. As a result, a number of the country’s universities have set up AI departments. Despite this, China is still experiencing a talent crunch, in which the country’s goals could be hampered by a lack of AI knowledge among its workforce. The renewed efforts could also be in vain should China be unable to retain its top graduates. According to a recent study, only around 31% of graduates from China’s top machine learning universities remain in the country, while 62% leave for the US.