World’s largest AI conference kicks off in China

On September 1, the fifth World Artificial Intelligence Conference officially kicked off its tech events in Shanghai.

Lasting until September 3, this year’s conference places a heavy focus on trendy tech topics. In fact, the WAIC opened a metaverse space just for the event. Participants can customise their avatars based on skin colour, hairstyle and glasses and wander the halls of the immersive experience.

Apart from the metaverse, the event additionally focuses on self-driving car technology. Shanghai opened downtown roads for self-driving experiences in the Pudong area in order to boost the burgeoning industry. 

The three-day conference will consist of an opening and closing ceremony, two plenary sessions, 10 themed forums and several eco-forums. After Shanghai, it will have five parallel session venues in North America, Europe, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Image: ChinaDaily

A few decades ago, there was a huge gulf between China and other leading countries on AI research. Now, China is catching up at rapid speed and plans to become a leader in AI-empowered businesses. In fact, as of March 2019, the number of Chinese AI firms reached 1,189. This comes second only to the U.S., which has more than 2,000 active AI companies.

“Shanghai is the center of China’s innovative AI development, and the WAIC has become an important platform for promoting AI industrial communications and collaborations,” said Jin Zhuanglong, head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Currently, China’s AI market scale has exceeded 727 billion RMB ($105 billion) and is projected to grow up to 2 trillion RMB ($289 billion) by 2026. Brands may want to keep their eyes peeled for the latest developments coming out of the conference, as developers are aware of AI’s importance in the digital economy and are focused on putting more effort into promoting AI’s commercial applications. 


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