Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence

News articles, analyses and commentary about machines that mimic human cognitive functions such as learning and problem solving. This also covers chatbots, algorithms, consumer products and Big Data a

nalysis that make use of AI.

The world’s second largest dam was built insanely fast thanks to AI
China’s newest hydropower will produce so much energy when completed in July that it will dwarf the production of America’s Hoover Dam.  Standing nearly 985 feet tall, and made with more than 8 million cubic metres of concrete, the Baihetan dam towers over the upper section of the Yangtze River.  It will power homes, office buildings and factories as far away as Jiangsu, a coastal province more than 1,240 miles to the east. But it is the speed of the project, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, that has raised the eyebrows of experts, even in China.  Despite many civil engineering difficulties, including treacherous terrain and a remote location, Baihetan has taken just four years to b
China may become world’s first to bring AI to legal system
China may soon become the world’s first country to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into a legal system as authorities want to use the technology to overhaul its judicial operations. The hope is that AI can help monitor judges, streamline court procedures and boost judicial credibility, according to the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) work report released during China’s annual parliamentary sessions on Monday. The 14th five-year plan, outlined at the year’s “two sessions” political gathering, sets a roadmap to upgrade China’s legal system by 2025.  According to legal experts, the changes are part of China’s “smart court” initiative, a signature policy of SPC president Zhou Qiang. He want
Artificial intelligence proves faster and smarter than human lawyers
In the first competition of its kind in China, 16 lawyers and law students battled against an artificial intelligence (AI) program to analyze a series of legal contracts, one of the most common and often tiresome tasks at law firms. The AI program completed the task in 60 seconds and identified more risks in the contracts than lawyers, according to a report in China Daily.  The AI also scored an accuracy rate of 96% - higher than the lawyers’ score, although the test administrators did not reveal their results. But while lawyers might be embarrassed by losing to a robot, they should feel buoyed that the best results in evaluating the five legal contracts came when AI and humans worked toge
2019 was the year Chinese artificial intelligence clashed with US
In 2017, China told the world it planned to become a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI). Two years later, that promise came to dominate the Chinese, if not the global, conversation about technology. At a conference this past May, John Kerry, the former US secretary of state, said Chinese President Xi Jinping’s announcement was not the “wisest” move. “It would have probably been smart to go try to do it and not announce [the plan], because the announcement was heard in Washington and elsewhere,” he said. His words foreboded a storm approaching Chinese AI firms. Reports days later indicated Washington was considering placing several Chinese surveillance companies on the US Entity Li
One in 20 Chinese workers could be replaced by robots by 2025
By 2025, machines and robots are set to replace nearly 5% of China’s workforce, according to an industry report released this week. In a survey of nearly 2,000 companies in China, the Wuhan University Institute of Quality Development Strategy found that 13.4% used robots as part of their processes in 2017, up from 8.1% two years before. As a result, about 40% of China’s manufacturing workforce could be “potentially affected” by the use of robots, putting further strain on the job market of the world’s most populous country, according to the report. The rise of automation had a disproportionate impact on workers with lower levels of education. Between 2015 and 2017, robotics replaced 9.4% of
I took a self-driving robotaxi in China
From Batman to Transformers, self-driving cars have long captured the popular imagination. And China, where the pervasive use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies extends from sorting rubbish to traffic control, is a natural testing ground for companies jostling to make this sci-fi fantasy a reality. They are part of a global move towards autonomous vehicles, which are quickly becoming the world's first major AI revolution. The sector has drawn billions of dollars of investment over the past few years, with the global autonomous vehicles market projected to be worth $65.3 billion by 2027, according to a report by Market Research Future. Major US players such as Google, Tesla and Gene
Chinese artificial intelligence hopes still rely on America
Engineer Kuang Kaiming was assigned to a team developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology for a Shanghai start-up. The company went with two leading open-source software libraries, Google’s TensorFlow and Facebook’s Pytorch. The decision to adopt US core technology over Chinese alternatives was telling of China’s weakness in basic AI infrastructure.  Despite the country’s success in producing commercially successful AI companies, the open-source coding repositories used to build the technology tend to be American.  Kuang’s company, whose AI product detects abnormalities in X-rays, is by no means alone.  Nearly all small- to medium-sized Chinese AI companies rely on the US-originated o
This AI bot scans social media to help prevent suicides
Wang Le’s bedroom is dim and silent, the curtains tightly drawn. The only sounds come from mouse clicks and a clattering keyboard. Wang has a social phobia that has made it challenging to live and work like a normal person for nearly a decade. The internet has been his only connection to the outside world.  It even saved his life. Wang’s phobia was so severe that, to feed himself, he had to rely on his relatives to leave food at his front gate. Even ordering takeout by phone was overwhelming.  In the spring, he contemplated suicide but hesitated. Afraid of death, but also afraid of life, he shared his despair on Weibo, a popular Twitter-like social platform in China. “Are you OK?” a stranger
Chinese scientists use AI to diagnose genetic disorders in babies
Chinese scientists say they've developed an AI-powered software to help screen newborns for genetic disorders through facial scans. Researchers from the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and the Shanghai Pediatric Center said their new assistive diagnosis tool, which they described as the first of its kind, was designed to detect more than 100 disorders with distinctive facial features, according to a report by state-owned China News Service. They said their AI-enabled tool would be used for initial screening, helping to avoid missed or wrong diagnosis of newborns. Prominent facial features of children with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS), for example, include thin eyebrows that often me