China has made yet another bold move in its pursuit of AI supremacy, with Beijing announcing plans to develop a technology park that would be focused on the development of artificial technology within the next five years. The massive tech park, which would span 54.87 hectares, would be built on the suburban Mentougou district in western Beijing.
The Chinese initiative is expected to cost around 13.8 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) to build. Despite the enormous amount required to construct the technology park, however, China is expecting an annual output value of about 50 billion yuan ($7.7 billion) from the roughly 400 businesses expected to be established in the park.
While specific details about the program remain unknown, the state-backed Xinhua News Agency specifically mentioned that the massive park would focus on the development of technologies such as high-speed big data, cloud computing, biometrics, and most of all, machine-enabled deep learning.
The upcoming technology park in Beijing will play a significant role in China’s push into global AI superiority. As noted in a CNBC report, China has previously declared that it is aiming to be a global leader in AI by 2030. The Asian economic superpower is also seeking to achieve a “major breakthrough” in the field of artificial intelligence by 2025.
While China’s continued push towards AI development is certainly admirable, it is difficult not to be a little bit perturbed about the dangers that might come out of China’s initiatives in the field. Artificial technology, after all, is still widely divisive, with strong voices coming from both its supporters and critics. Among those who have reservations about AI is Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has been pretty vocal about the dangers of artificial technology in the past.
Just last year, Musk went so far as to state that the next world war might very well be the caused by the advent of over-advanced AI. The serial tech entrepreneur specifically mentioned China and Russia’s efforts on Twitter, two countries that have expressed their openness to the idea of utilizing AI technology for military purposes.
In a lot of ways, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has a very valid point. The dangers of AI, after all, are very real. Russian President Vladimir Putin, for one, explicitly stated that while AI is definitely the future, it comes with just as many dangers as the opportunities it provides. Putin also asserted that whichever country becomes a leader in artificial intelligence will likely emerge as the new, undisputed world power.