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China's push on AI receives vote of confidence from its citizens


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

September 25, 2018 | 3 min read

China has been ranked first when it comes to its citizens feeling optimistic about the impact of digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) has on their work and life.


More than 73% of people in China believe that the future impact of digital technology will be positive.

More than 73% of people in China believe that the future impact of digital technology will be positive overall and has the ability to create jobs and address societal challenges, while 65% believe that AI will create job opportunities over the next decade.

In addition, 68% of people in China believe that their education has given them the technology skills and knowledge they need, which is the highest proportion by out of the 10 countries

This is according to the newly released China edition of the Digital Society Index (DSI), created in partnership with Oxford Economics and Dentsu Aegis Network. While the global edition was released this year, this edition is a deep dive with China-specific data.

“Ensuring access to the right skills, building confidence in new products and services, as well as establishing the right norms and protocols around sharing data, are all essential elements of a future-proof strategy,” explained Susana Tsui, chief executive officer of Dentsu Aegis Network China.

“Dentsu Aegis Network China is committed to continue to understand, learn, apply and share our research findings to deliver relevant creative and innovative work for our clients and the industry. We’re investing in our people and products to ensure that our business continues to play a key role in China’s exciting journey. This transition to a digital economy represents an unparalleled opportunity to drive economic growth and change lives.”

The findings come after China’s president Xi Jinping announced at the 2018 World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai that the country would change its stance on AI by collaborating with other countries on development of the technology.

That has seen Chinese companies scramble to develop new AI technologies in every aspect of life in China. At its annual cloud computing conference in Hangzhou last week, e-commerce giant Alibaba showcased all its innovative technologies that made use of AI, including one that can rear pigs.

In his keynote speech at the conference, Alibaba founder Jack Ma predicted that in the near future AI will disrupt traditional manufacturing in much the same way as retail was by e-commerce.

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