Chengdu plans to make a strong push to advance next generation artificial intelligence (AI).
The capital of China’s Sichuan province is working on developing an AI-centreed pilot zone. More than 100 billion yuan (US$15.2 billion) have been set aside for more than 170 major projects over two years to support the regional AI industry. This involves developing a core area, an innovation hub and several industrial parks.
The core zone is Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, a national level innovation centre in the city that is projected to have more than 10 billion yuan in AI-related industrial output value by 2022.
The Tianfu New Area, home to the Chengdu Science City, will be an AI innovation hub that is expected to pull in five billion yuan of investement in 2022.
AI technologies will also be applied in 10 industrial parks including Tianfu Smart Production Industrial Park and Qingbaijiang European Industrial Park to support regional industrial upgrades.
Huawei to build big data centre
In September, Huawei agreed to build an AI-based big data centre in the Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone. The project will result in an integrated big data processing centre to serve the economic development of Chengdu and neighbouring Chongqing. Three platforms will support Chengdu’s urban management, AI innovation and digital economy. Huawei’s total investment will be around 10.9 billion yuan.
According to local officials, the urban management platform will support smart development in fields such as traffic, security, healthcare, contingency management, education, and environmental protection. The innovation-supporting platform will help local research institutes carry out advanced technology development.
Representatives from Huawei said the big data centre will help the company build an industrial chain with products and solutions developed in Chengdu, manufactured in Chengdu, and applied in Chengdu and beyond. The big data centre will support Huawei’s research and development while meeting computing and data storage demand of key industries across the city.
The centre will bring Huawei’s advanced technologies in 5G, cloud, AI and computing to serve Chengdu’s new infrastructure projects and smart city construction.
Baidu test drives autonomous taxi service
In June, Baidu joined hands with the Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone to promote its self-driving taxi service, the Apollo Go Robotaxi, in Chengdu.
Chengdu Supercomputing Center, which started trial operations in September, will strongly support AI industry growth in the region. The centre is expected to attract more computing professionals while establishing partnerships with leading universities and institutes.
To build a national pilot zone for next-generation AI, Chengdu will promote cooperation among universities, research institutions and enterprises for industrialisation of research results.
The zone is expected to become an important technological engine to drive local growth, making Chengdu and the broader region that encompasses Chengdu and Chongqing an influential innovation hub in China.