Organized by the Shanghai government, the annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC)’s mission is to provide a global platform for current and future AI innovation startups and corporates to exchange ideas and resources in pursuit of humankind’s greatest technological achievements.

Unlike the previous two conferences, which were held onsite in Shanghai, WAIC 2020 will be held online from July 9 to 11 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this will not change the conference’s core mission and objectives. This year’s conference will take advantage of its online component by offering a series of online interactive activities and virtual platforms.

With the theme “Intelligent Connectivity, Indivisible Community,” WAIC 2020 aims to gather prominent experts from all over the world to discuss AI technology—its development, its applications, its trends, and how AI can better serve humanity for good.

This year’s online conference consists of one exhibition platform that will showcase products and services from more than 100 exhibitors, an opening ceremony, two plenary sessions, 10 thematic side stages, many industrial side stages, including both live and recorded content. These sessions will be broadcasted from multiple studios in Shanghai, the US, Germany, France, and Singapore. In conjunction, there will be a 3D cloud-based virtual exhibition in an interactive 360-degree virtual environment, and multiple other interactive options for participants to experience AI scenarios online.

WAIC 2020

For more information

Please proceed to the official website of WAIC 2020.

10 thematic side stages and featured activities

The ten thematic side stages will focus on three major topics: AI technology trends, the AI economy, and AI homes. Sub-topics include chips, data intelligence, AI + 5G, autonomous driving, AI + industry, AI + blockchain, AI + healthcare, AI + education, and AI governance.

In addition to the thematic side stages, WAIC partners will host industry forums to dive deep into vertical tech topics. Other featured activities include product releases, Global Day, Developers’ Day, the Sail Award, and the AIWIN competition.

During the three-day conference, WAIC has designated the second day to be the Global Day to facilitate global AI project pitching, international talents fair, and a series of roadshows to present global AI innovative products for a network of local and international tech communities.

3D cloud-based virtual platform

The “3D cloud-based virtual platform” is a major innovation in online conferences. Not only does it provide the experience of a traditional exhibition online, it also provides opportunities for digital interaction and activities, increasing touch points between the exhibitors and participants beyond what’s available in an offline exhibition. Participants can choose from a range of interactive methods such as video-conferencing and AI customer service, or join live-streaming sessions with the exhibitors.

The exhibition platform will be divided into seven virtual areas: AI + education, AI + medical, AI + transportation, AI + finance, AI + industry, AI + basic technology, and AI + urban management. In addition to that, a designated AI Pilot Zone will allow key AI corporates to customize a 360-degree virtual environment for their visitors. Adding a little carnival atmosphere to the online conference experience, WAIC has designed several ways for participants to collect AI reward points to redeem gifts, including a treasure hunt.

Speaker lineup

More than 400 prominent guest speakers have confirmed their participation. Among the leaders who have confirmed their participation are:

  • Manuel Blum: Winner of the 1995 Turing Award and founder of computational complexity theory
  • Dong Mingzhu: The chairman and president of Zhuhai Gree Electric Appliance Co., Ltd.  
  • John Hopcroft: Winner of the 1986 Turing Award
  • Christian Klein: CEO of SAP
  • Li Yanhong: Founder, chairman, and CEO of Baidu
  • Li Yong: Director-general of the UN Industrial Development Organization
  • Mei Hong: Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • David Patterson: Winner of the 2017 Turing Award and master of Computer Architecture
  • Judea Pearl: Winner of the 2011 Turing Award in 2011, father of Bayesian Networks
  • Thomas Sargent: Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Economics
  • Joseph Sifakis: Winner of the 2007 Turing Award and academician of various countries
  • Pascal Soriot: CEO of AstraZeneca Investment (China) Co., Ltd.
  • Wang Jian: Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and founder of Alibaba Cloud Computing
  • Yao Qizhi: Winner of the 2000 Turing Award, Academician of CAS, Academician of American Academy of Sciences
  • Zhao Houlin: Secretary-general of International Telecommunication Union

The conference is expecting 150 online exhibitors. At present, in addition to Microsoft, Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, iFLYTEK, ABB, SAIC, and other industry leaders that participated in the exhibition last year, new exhibitors include AstraZeneca, Qualcomm, JD Cloud, Youbixuan, Bank of China and other AI tech companies such as Cerinsi, Cambrian, Yunzhisheng, Suiyuan Technology, and Yunkuang. Stay tuned as the list is being updated on the website.

WAIC 2020

For more information

Please proceed to the official website of WAIC 2020.

Suzanne Loo

Based in Shanghai, Suzanne builds and promotes TechNode domestically and globally by designing and implementing online and offline marketing campaigns and events. A Global Studies graduate from St. Lawrence...