China has announced its plan on Wednesday to build a $2.1 billion (13.8 billion Yuan) technology park dedicated to developing artificial intelligence (AI), its state-backed news agency Xinhua said.
Covering 54.87 hectares, the technology park to be constructed within five years and situated in the suburban Mentougou district in western Beijing, will be home to around 400 businesses and is expected to create an annual output value of about 50 billion Yuan.
The park will focus on providing high-speed big data, cloud computing, biometrics and so-called deep learning, a strand of AI. It will also have 5G mobile Internet, a supercomputer and cloud services, according to Xinhua.
China hopes to make a “major breakthrough” in AI technology by 2025. It wants to accelerate the commercialization of AI in China in areas such as smart cities, while also eyeing its military capabilities.
Xinhua said Zhongguancun Development Group would develop the park in partnership with Chinese and overseas universities, research institutes and large enterprises to establish a number of research hubs on the premises. These will include a “national-level” artificial intelligence lab.
The country’s burgeoning AI industry has also attracted foreign firms as Alphabet Inc.’s Google announced on December, that it would launch a Beijing-based AI research team, targeting local research talent, though the U.S. firm’s search engine remains blocked behind China’s firewall.
However, some experts including noted venture capitalist Jim Breyer are of the opinion that U.S will lead China in AI likening the competition between the U.S. and China in AI to the space race of the 1950s.