Beijing is planning to build a 13.8 billion yuan ($2.12 billion) artificial intelligence development park in the city’s west, the official Xinhua news agency reported, as China pushes ahead to fulfil its ambition to become a world leader in AI by 2025.
The AI park will house up to 400 enterprises and have an estimated annual output of 50 billion yuan, Xinhua said, citing a report from authorities in Beijing’s Mentougou district.
Zhongguancun Development Group, the developer of the project, will look to partner with foreign universities and build a “national-level” AI lab in the area, Xinhua added.
The park will focus on developing areas such as super high-speed big data, cloud computing, biometric identification and deep learning. Its technological infrastructure includes a fifth-generation mobile network, a super computer and cloud services.
Already, the U.S. is taking note. A recent Pentagon report showed how worried Washington was about Chinese firms investing in U.S. start-ups, suggesting that there might need to be tighter controls around this, CNBC reported.
On Tuesday, the U.S. government failed to approve MoneyGram’s multi-million-dollar merger with Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Some experts including noted venture capitalist Jim Breyer have compared the competition between the U.S. and China in AI to the “space race of the ‘50s.” However, he did say that the U.S. will lead China in AI.
“I don’t think they’ll (China) be number one because I think there’s still a level of genius and creativity in Silicon Valley that persists and will always persist,” Breyer said during a CNBC-hosted panel in November.