A new artificial intelligence (AI) research park is due to be built in Beijing over the next few years at an estimated cost of around 13.8 billion yuan ($2.12 billion).
It’s all part of China’s bigger plan to become leaders in the field of AI by 2025.
As many as 400 different establishments will be housed on the research park, creating an estimated annual output of around 50 billion yuan.
The AI research park will be called Xinhua and is being developed currently by Zhongguancun Development.
The race to become the world leaders in AI is predominately between China and the United States, and while the Americans may have had the upper hand previously, since around 2014 this is one race they seem to have taken a back seat in.
There are a heck of a lot of people in China.
Even if just 1% of them decide to pursue a career in this field, that would equate to more than 14 million AI experts, which is quite a few more than the US is likely to produce anytime soon.
To drum up interest in AI across the country, China has been urging private, public, and government firms to participate in their global aims.
Even foreign firms have been investing in China’s AI development.
For instance, just last month Alphabet Inc announced its intentions to create an AI research team in Beijing, which is a little surprising considering Google is still stonewalled in China.
The new AI research park will be looking to attract AI ventures with a keen interest in cloud computing, big-data, and biometric identification.
Other plans in place in Beijing include dedicating a particular area of Beijing to the development of autonomous driving.
If other countries are to stand a chance at achieving anywhere near what China has over the past few years, huge investments will need to be made into AI research and development.
So far the only country to come close to matching China’s efforts in AI is the United States, but even they have a long way to go to catch up.
AI has become a massive money-making industry that’s worth billions of dollars.
And, if it keeps growing the way it has so far, there’s no reason to believe that it won’t someday be worth around $50 trillion as predicted by McKinsey back in 2015.