ChinAI #152: Mining ChinAI News from 775 articles and 225 events

Wendy Liu translates monthly summary report on AI-related developments in China

Greetings from a world where…

the one constant through all the years is baseball

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Feature Translation: SciTouTiao Monthly Report on AI Development July 2021

I am very grateful to Wenmiao “Wendy” Liu for contributing this week’s feature translation. She’s a product delivery manager at Kyros.AI, an innovative AI platform for education management, and former ML geophysicist at Schlumberger Oilfield Services. As always, I welcome and compensate contributors — feel free to reach out if you’re interested!

Wendy translated the July AI Development Monthly Report by SciToutiao (学术头条), which draws on insights from AMiner, a data mining service that scans academic publications and news sites. From this type of scanning, the July report was derived from 774 AI-related news articles and 225 AI-related events. SciToutiao could then isolate the July events that attracted the most attention, such as the World AI Conference in Shanghai on July 8th and the a robotics summit in Ninbo on the 14th. This could prove to be a useful resource to get a panoramic view at developments in China’s AI ecosystem.

*Interesting note: one of the creators of the AMiner platform is Tsinghua Professor Jie Tang, who leads the WuDao large-scale model team. ChinAI #145 featured a WuDao Turing Test that was linked from the AMiner site.

Key Takeaways:

  • One of the most useful features of this monthly recap is that it flags the latest reports on China’s AI development published in the past month. Ones that caught my eye: CB Insights report on China’s digital industry, Huawei Cloud’s White Paper on AI-empowered smart cities, and an AI Standardization White Paper.

  • On July 13, the Internet Society of China released the “China Internet Development Report 2021.” One finding: the size of China’s AI industry increased 15% from the previous year. There are 1,454 AI companies in China, ranking second globally, behind the U.S. which has 2257.

  • The monthly recap also highlights competition results. For instance, the Pengcheng Lab system, based on Huawei’s Ascend AI technology, had the overall highest score on the IO500 ranking at the International Supercomputing Conference. HPCwire describes this as “an increasingly watched benchmark.” Recall that the Pengcheng Lab played a key role in training Huawei’s large-scale pre-trained language model (a GPT-3-esque model).

  • Finally, the monthly recap covers comments by leading AI researchers. Wendy summarizes one such comment: Dai Qionghai, Chairman of Chinese Association of Artificial Intelligence (CAAI), recently commented that the training of top AI talents of China should start from primary/middle schools, a remark along the same line of President Deng Xiaoping’s famous quote from 1984: “computer literacy should start with children.”

Thanks again to Wendy for her great work on this, and check out the full report below:

***FULL TRANSLATION: SciToutiao Monthly Report on AI Development July 2021

ChinAI Links (Four to Forward)

Should-read: Top Scholar Zhou Hanhua Illuminates 15+ Years of History Behind China’s Personal Information Protection Law

Published in DigiChina back in June, this interview was conducted in Mandarin by Yehan Huang and Mingli Shi, and then translated back into English. They interviewed Zhou Hanhua, a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences legal scholar who has shaped Chinese privacy law for a long time. The Q&A is a valuable opportunity to engage with the Chinese policy debate on personal information protection in English.

Should-read: AI researchers in China want to keep the global-sharing culture alive

I was searching for more background on AMiner and found this 2019 article by Sarah O’Meara, part of Nature’s Spotlight on AI in China series. The piece discusses Aminer in the context of China as a key node in global collaborations in AI. One interesting nugget: Tsinghua graduate Yangqing Jia developed Caffe, a key open-source deep-learning framework, during his PhD studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Should-read: Why China’s crypto cowboys are fleeing to Texas

For Rest of World, Meaghan Tobin tells a fascinating tale about how Poolin, a Chinese cryptocurrency mining company, is exploring Texas as a new site. China’s crackdown on crypto mining and trading has caused Chinese miners to look for alternative locations.

Should-read: Full Translation of Government Guidance to Create a ‘Pioneer’ Zone in Shanghai for Key Industries

This featured in an earlier Around the Horn issue of ChinAI. CSET’s translation team, led by Ben Murphy, has translated this document in full:

Shanghai Economic Reform Opinions: Opinions of the CCP Central Committee and the State Council on Supporting High-Quality Reform and Opening Up in Pudong New District and Making it into a Leading Area for Socialist Modernization Construction. These "Opinions," made public by the Communist Party in July 2021, outline new policies for Pudong New District in Shanghai, long a trendsetter in Chinese economic reform. The document introduces several new measures to liberalize Shanghai's capital market, including the STAR Market, where many Chinese AI companies are listed. The "Opinions" also strengthen Shanghai's university- and research laboratory-based technology transfer agencies and call for aggressive recruitment of overseas tech talent.

Thank you for reading and engaging.

These are Jeff Ding's (sometimes) weekly translations of Chinese-language musings on AI and related topics. Jeff is a PhD candidate in International Relations at the University of Oxford and a researcher at the Center for the Governance of AI at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute.

Check out the archive of all past issues here & please subscribe here to support ChinAI under a Guardian/Wikipedia-style tipping model (everyone gets the same content but those who can pay for a subscription will support access for all).

Any suggestions or feedback? Let me know at or on Twitter at @jjding99