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AI conference to feature business luminaries

Zhu Shenshen
The World Artificial Intelligence Conference opening on Thursday in Shanghai will feature more than 1,000 speakers, including business leaders, scientists and academics.
Zhu Shenshen

China's top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan, Internet tycoons such as Tencent's Pony Ma and Baidu's Robin Li, and billionaire technology investor Masayoshi Son of Softbank will attend the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) opening on Thursday in Shanghai. 

More than 1,000 speakers, including scientists, academics, business leaders and startup officials will share opinions at the conference on a range of topics, including AI in epidemics, credible AI, averting a digital gap and AI with carbon neutrality, 

A total of 60 academics and Turning Award winners will attend WAIC. Many foreign speakers will attend the event online due to the pandemic. 

Tencent's and Baidu's chairmen will attend the opening session on Thursday, as they did in 2019. WAIC was held online last year due to COVID-19.

Other business leaders include Cristiano Amon, who was recently promoted to chief executive officer at Qualcomm, Huawei's rotating chairman Ken Hu, Gree's chairman Dong Mingzhu and Softbank's chairman Son, who led early-stage investment in Yahoo! and Alibaba.

Business leaders come from Alibaba, Bank of Communications, SAP, Siemens and 360 will attend the opening session.

360, the country's biggest cyber-security firm, has warned about security risks with the development of the digital economy and debut of smart devices like IoTs and cars. 

In addition to the conference and forum, WAIC will feature an exhibition space that covers more than 40,000 square meters, double the area in 2019. Firms like Huawei, SenseTime, Ubtech Robotics, UCloud and CC Intelligence will showcase AI applications like an urban management "brain" system, autonomous driving bus, service robots, "safety house" on cloud and a "gold mine" with business intelligence.

The AI development is highly connected to Shanghai's new blueprint, covering three strategic sectors: AI, chip and biomedicine. 

In 2020, Shanghai had 1,149 AI firms to establish a complete industry chain. AI industry output reached 224.6 billion yuan (US$35.1 billion), 50 percent year-on-year growth. 

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