Shanghai will sharpen the focus and expand the scope of the second World Artificial Intelligence Conference as the city gears up to be the national center for the thriving technology.
The conference, which debuted last September, is scheduled to run from Aug 29 to 31 this year at two major venues alongside the Bund - the Expo Center and Xuhui Binjiang, Shanghai Vice-Mayor Wu Qing said at a media briefing on Tuesday.
Two summits on science and technology innovation and 10 industry panels will be held during the three-day event. Government officials, representatives of international organizations, top-notch scientists and business leaders are invited to share their insights on a variety of topics, from machine learning, chips and smart hardware to autonomous driving and 5G.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk will participate in the event, and tech guru companies like Alibaba, Tencent and Microsoft will be strategic partners of the conference.
There will be dedicated demonstration zones showcasing how AI can be applied to empower multiple industries, including education, healthcare, city management, industry, finance and commerce, he said.
"This is more than a cluster of AI demonstrations. It also acts as an occasion bridging investment opportunities, academic discussions and industrial-level brainstorming," Wu said.
A torrent of intelligent experiences, such as cashier-less banks and smart retail shops, will become available to participants and even residents living near event venues. AI-backed anchors, interpreters and meeting assistants also will flex their muscles to smooth the conferencing experience.
Shanghai will prioritize the development of AI in the realms of autonomous driving, robots, smart hardware, sensors, chips and software, Wu said. The city is planning to draft an AI development roadmap to expand industry influence and leverage the city's Xuhui and Zhangjiang areas as two leading spots.
China is looking to host 10 AI innovation development pilot zones by 2020. Shanghai was chosen as one destination to water-test breakthroughs in AI-related technology, policy, social impacts and governance, said Zhang Xu, vice-director of department of strategy and planning at the Ministry of Science and Technology.
He identified Shanghai's strengths as boasting a comprehensive industrial chain, solid big data foundation, fundamental AI applications and talent-rich research might.
Official statistics showed that the city is already home to 1,000 companies with AI as its core business. According to a plan issued last year by municipal authorities, Shanghai is looking to lead the pack by becoming a global AI hub, with plans to expand the scale of its industry to more than 100 billion yuan ($14.4 billion) by 2020.
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