Screenshots of 3rd edition of Qingdao Daily on September 23, 2019
The Ministry of Science and Technology ’s recently issued “Guidelines for the Construction of National New-Generation Artificial Intelligence Innovation Development Pilot Areas” proposes that by 2023, there will be 20 pilot areas nationwide.
Can Qingdao artificial intelligence rank among the national "experimental zones"?
□ Chief reporter of Qingdao Daily / Qingdao Guan / Qingbao Daily
The 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference closed in Shanghai on August 31. The 2019 China Artificial Intelligence Conference opens in Qingdao from September 21st to 22nd. The exploration around the development of artificial intelligence has never stopped.
Not long ago, the Ministry of Science and Technology issued the "Guidelines for the Construction of National New-Generation Artificial Intelligence Innovation and Development Pilot Areas" and proposed that by 2023, 20 pilot areas should be deployed and constructed. The industry believes that this "guideline" is to prevent everyone from rushing to the ground and disorderly competition. By exerting the role of local subjects, each has its own focus on serving the national strategy.
For Qingdao, whether it can become one of the experimental areas or whether it can occupy a place in the national plan for the development of artificial intelligence, the opportunity is fleeting.
■ On September 21, the 2019 China Artificial Intelligence Conference opened in Fangyuan Sports Center in Jiaozhou. Photo by Xing Zhifeng
Looking at the whole country, at what level is Qingdao's artificial intelligence?
The development of artificial intelligence in Qingdao is urgent.
At present, as far as the whole country is concerned, the three major artificial intelligence industry clusters represented by Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao have begun to take shape, and competition for resources in other regions has become more intense.
Qingdao proposed to build a highland for innovation and entrepreneurship in the north of the Yangtze River, and we must not miss a new round of changes in the electronic information technology industry. Looking back, Qingdao has missed many opportunities. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the computer industry rose and Qingdao failed to catch up; in the mid-to-late 1990s, the Internet industry rose and Qingdao failed to catch up; around the rise of mobile Internet in 2008 and the rise of social platforms in 2010, Qingdao still failed to catch up. on. In contrast to other similar cities, Chengdu, Wuhan, and Nanjing surpassed Qingdao in 2011, 2012, and 2013, because they set up the electronic information industry as early as seventeen or eighteen years ago, and now the electronic information industry volume of these three cities It is about three times that of Qingdao. At present, the fourth round of the scientific and technological industrial revolution represented by big data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, mobile Internet and 5G, and brain science is gaining momentum. Qingdao must catch this express train in order to return to the forefront of second-tier cities in the reshaping of China's economic landscape.
Qingdao has anxiety, but it is not completely lackluster.
According to the data released by the authoritative analysis website Yiou Think Tank this year, Qingdao was shortlisted as the "Top 20 Chinese Artificial Intelligence Development Cities in 2018" and ranked 17th. This is the first time Qingdao has rushed into this list, and the score gap between cities after the tenth place on the list is not large. The list includes five indicators: "enterprise scale, policy foundation, academic foundation, industrial foundation, and capital environment." Qingdao scored higher in the "industrial foundation". The short board is "enterprise scale and academic foundation" and "capital environment". Obviously lags behind cities such as Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen, but is on a par with more than a dozen other cities. It can be seen that Qingdao Artificial Intelligence is in the back of the second echelon or the front of the third echelon in China.
The China Artificial Intelligence Conference, held in Jiaozhou from September 21st to 22nd, is the top academic event with the highest specifications, the largest scale and the most influential in the field of artificial intelligence in China. It has only been held in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen before. The location of such a high-end conference in Qingdao itself is also the expectation and recognition of the development of artificial intelligence in Qingdao.
■ Artificial intelligence training starts with children. The picture shows the students of Laoshan Experimental Primary School watching "Artificial Intelligence Education Lesson One" on September 2. Photo by Wang Muyuan
One of the shortcomings, lack of talent support and academic foundation
"The future leader of artificial intelligence is bound to be the master of disruptive and revolutionary technology." Yu Liping, deputy dean of the Qingdao Intelligent Industry Technology Research Institute, believes that Tesla's founder Musk is looking forward to artificial intelligence technology. Sexual and revolutionary precise control has greatly affected science and technology workers. For example, Musk's "Star Chain Project" uses 12,000 satellites to create global information and communication connections. If it becomes a reality, then he will create a new global information network. Both data transmission and delay are better than the original Internet. And the Internet of Things, subverting the traditional meaning of the information network, seizing the commanding heights of the information age.
In fact, the concept of artificial intelligence was put forward very early, and the Dartmouth conference in 1956 had some views. However, the early development was slow. With the development of computers and chips, it gradually became a reality. At this stage, unmanned driving, intelligent logistics, face recognition, robot doctors, etc. associated with artificial intelligence are all relatively basic applications.
"However, with the development of technology, artificial intelligence will run faster, and people from non-professional fields will also join in in the future. Artificial intelligence technology will become more sophisticated and technology upgrade time spans will be shorter and shorter. Therefore, In terms of talent training and introduction, it is no longer limited to just a few top talents, but it should be a concept of a team, a community. Moreover, due to the imbalance in development, the stronger the weaker and the weaker the weaker. " Yu Liping's point of view has been widely recognized in the industry.
To develop high-end artificial intelligence technology, Qingdao lacks talents and lacks academic foundation. At present, the three key universities of Shandong Province are running schools in Qingdao, and there are many local universities, but the only computer doctors that can train high-end artificial intelligence talents are Shandong University, Ocean University of China, and Shandong University of Science and Technology. Among the approved ones are related doctoral programs in software engineering that were approved by Qingdao University the previous year. Qingdao lacks institutions to train first-class artificial intelligence talents, no first-class teachers, and it is difficult to bring in first-class students. As for academicians in the field of artificial intelligence and Yangtze River scholars, there are even more serious shortages, and there are only a handful of scientific research platforms such as key laboratories at the provincial and ministerial levels and engineering technology centers.
In addition, due to the lack of demand for talents in the current industry scale and higher treatment of talents in other cities, many brain drains have also been caused. According to statistics from the University of Science and Technology of Shandong University, about 30% of the graduates in artificial intelligence who stay in Qingdao every year. "In Beijing, an average technical developer has a monthly salary of about 18,000 to 20,000 yuan, and in Qingdao only 9,000 to 10,000 yuan." Some computer professionals have calculated such a bill for reporters. Many Qingdao graduates have gone to Tencent, Ali, Neusoft and other companies and can earn an annual salary of one million yuan after working for several years.
A large investment can produce a large output. Shenzhen University is neither 985 nor 211, but it is "the richest university in China". Its computer specialty is very strong and it has provided Tencent with a large pool of talents. Liang Yongquan, Dean of the School of Computer Science and Engineering / Artificial Intelligence School of the University of Science and Technology of Shandong University, said that Shandong and Qingdao have never lacked excellent students, but it is difficult to retain excellent artificial intelligence talents. The key is the lack of fertile soil for the growth of artificial intelligence talents. He suggested that an artificial intelligence industrial park be established near a university with strong artificial intelligence strength, introduce and incubate a group of artificial intelligence companies, strengthen the guidance of industry-university-research cooperation, encourage university teachers and students to exercise and practice in enterprises, and encourage enterprises to set up artificial Open Fund for Intelligent Technology and Industrial Applications. It is understood that Zhejiang University and Hikvision are such a cooperative relationship. If such a group of enterprises can serve as a base for student internship and employment, it will be extremely beneficial for Qingdao to retain artificial intelligence young talents.
■ The "Smart" Meeting "Energy" Robot Forum held at the 2019 China Artificial Intelligence Conference. Photo by Xing Zhifeng
The second shortcoming is the lack of large-scale intelligent enterprises
There is a well-known law in the circle of information technology: the winner takes all. In other words, other industries may still be in a state of chaos. For example, in the home appliance industry, a number of big brands such as Haier, Hisense, Gree, Siemens, and Samsung will emerge, but in the field of artificial intelligence, after the "boss" appears The social recognition of "second child" and "third child" is very low. Therefore, Baidu, Alibaba, HKUST, and other leading AI companies have different priorities. Some are autonomous driving, some are smart cities, and some are speech recognition.
Qingdao not only lacks the above-mentioned artificial intelligence leading companies, but also very few artificial intelligence companies in the true sense. Most of them are well-known domestic companies in the field, and most of the local intelligent enterprises can only be regarded as a high degree of "automation". At the World Artificial Intelligence Conference held in Shanghai, only Haier participated in the Qingdao enterprise. At the China Artificial Intelligence Conference held at their doorstep, there were not many famous exhibitors in Qingdao.
The development of artificial intelligence requires an ecosystem. Yu Liping has done some market investigations in Shanghai and found that many companies only do a small part of the intelligent industry chain, but because the urban industry ecology is complete and the company itself is highly professional, it can survive and become a segment The best in the market. Like an orchard, from planting and picking to selling ripe fruits, producing fruit juice, etc., forming a full-cycle industrial chain can win huge market space.
There are many companies whose headquarters are not in Beijing, Shanghai, or Shenzhen, but R & D centers are there because they can leverage each other in that mature ecology.
But Qingdao obviously has a long way to go to achieve this goal. On the west coast, there is a data analysis company with video artificial intelligence as the core. It has quite good technical strength and has contributed to the security work of the Qingdao Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. However, it is understood that enterprises are mainly project-oriented, and can provide multi-dimensional holographic data fusion analysis solutions in multiple fields such as public safety, traffic management, social governance, counter-terrorism and stability maintenance, smart communities, and production safety. In other words, it has no market influence and is difficult to scale up. There are many similar situations in Qingdao.
There are fewer than 100 backbone AI artificial intelligence companies in Qingdao. Haier and Hisense, which are known as smart homes, CRRC Quartet for intelligent transportation, and Neusoft Carrier for electric power communications, are known to everyone. There is still a lack of unicorn companies or stealth champions that have real hardcore strength.
Make full use of the existing industrial foundation, and do a good job of upgrading the application of artificial intelligence
It is not terrible to have a short board, but I am afraid that I do not know where my short board is. Qingdao has no fewer opportunities to develop artificial intelligence than other cities.
Artificial intelligence has the typical dual attributes of technical and social attributes. Unlike many industries in the past, it can be promoted through industrial policies. The technology of artificial intelligence will develop penetration in various fields, and it also involves many issues such as ethical security. Therefore, route research and phased research and judgment are needed. It is necessary to understand in which fields artificial intelligence is suitable for application and in the development process of the artificial intelligence industry. The demand for technology in different fields is also different.
Yu Liping said that artificial intelligence usually comes first from the bitterest, dirtiest and most dangerous industries. For example, mineless driverless applications. At present, unmanned mining cards and excavators of Qingdao Intelligent Institute have been used in several large mines in China. In addition, artificial intelligence will also take the lead in big data-intensive industries, such as financial data analysis on Wall Street. As far as Qingdao is concerned, all kinds of marine sensors and marine equipment can become the characteristic industries of artificial intelligence.
Although Qingdao's information technology industry is not strong, traditional manufacturing has a strong foundation, which is a breakthrough. Since this year, Qingdao has launched the "high-end manufacturing + artificial intelligence" offensive, which is to make artificial intelligence one of Qingdao's key emerging industries, promote the formation of industrial clusters in Qingdao's artificial intelligence industry, interact positively with local enterprises, integrate development, and manufacture for Qingdao. Industry empowerment to create a high ground for the artificial intelligence industry.
In January this year, Shandong University of Science and Technology, led by Shandong University of Science and Technology, and jointly established 12 new-generation artificial intelligence technology collaborative innovation centers was officially launched. This is the first technological innovation center in the field of artificial intelligence in Shandong, including 7 industry leaders (Haier, Inspur, Goer, Telecom, etc.), 3 universities (Shandong University, Xi'an Electronic Science and Technology University, Jinan University), 3 Research Institute (Qingdao Institute of Intelligence, Qingdao Research Institute of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources). The person in charge of the center, Liang Yongquan, introduced that the center is to form a whole of complementary advantages, industry-university-research applications, and to face the common problems of the development of the artificial intelligence industry in Shandong Province. Multi-disciplinary integration, multi-team collaboration, and multi-technology integration of innovative R & D and application platforms form a technology transfer and innovation model of "industry-industry-research" integration and development. At present, the Collaborative Innovation Center has decided to build four platforms including artificial intelligence open source software and hardware foundation platform, trusted and secure cloud computing support platform, virtual reality / augmented reality intelligent support platform, and big data intelligent service platform to accelerate the development of Research and development and industrialization of artificial intelligence application technology in mining, smart agriculture, smart home, smart ocean and other fields.
We have reason to believe that as Qingdao increases investment in artificial intelligence development, strengthens policy support, and promotes the formation of an ecological atmosphere of benign interaction between industry, university, and research, the road to industrial upgrading will not be too far away.