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How strong is Shanghai's AI ecosystem? ICDK organises panel discussion with Chinese AI stakeholders and ATV

10.10.2018  08:12


This week, Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV) is in Shanghai to study the rollout of the city’s ambitious AI plan. Tuesday evening, the ATV delegation visited ICDK Shanghai and participated in a panel discussion with representatives from Shanghai’s artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem including investors, professors and entrepreneurs.

Surprisingly frank, informative and intense debate
ICDK Shanghai Executive Director, Søren Boutrup and Innovation Attaché Martin Bech moderated the panel debate. The panel was designed to cover three major themes in relation to AI: How far is China, which regard to development of AI enabling hardware, what are the possibilities and limitations with regard to data use and availability and, finally, how is Shanghai positioned in the international competition for talent?

During the debate, it became clear that Shanghai’s government play an important but also somewhat complicated role as a facilitator in the city’s AI eco-system. One startup had received support from the government through free office space and help to potential business partners and customers.

One of the more complex elements in the government’s facilitation was highlighted by a representative from one of China largest private investors with a portfolio worth more than 60 billion USD: funding. With the increased focus from the national government as well as from established companies such as Alibaba and Tencent, the funding possibilities are many and often consists of both private and public sources. This creates a very dynamic funding system but also a system that is not very transparent – or at least easy to navigate, especially for international stakeholders.

Another interesting point that was raised by a panellist was in China, AI is not a disruptive technology. Rather it is viewed as an empowering technology that will strengthen traditional industries by making them more efficient and more profitable.

Several of the panellists were working with AI empowered educational programmes. They place high hopes on the technology as an enabling factor in reforming China’s education system towards a more student orientated environment with more time for extra curriculum activities that could, they said, be achieved by increasing efficiency in the learning process.     

Finally, the evening was rounded off with a fun AI quiz and a networking dinner.

About the event
The Danish Academy of Technical Science participated in the panel debate at ICDK as a part of their 5-day study tour around China. ICDK regularly organises events, such as workshops, panel debates, and seminars for Danish companies, organisations and educational institutions.

If you have questions or would like us to organise an event for you, feel free to contact executive director, Søren Boutrup: or (+86) 158 0058 0722


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