China is reportedly building a $2 billion AI park as it looks to become a world leader in the field

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xi jinping Reuters Xi Jinping, the president of China.

  • China is reportedly building a new artificial intelligence (AI) park in west Beijing.
  • The park is being built by a state-owned developer called Zhongguancun Development Group.
  • Russian president Vladimir Putin believes that in the future, the country that leads in AI could dominate the world.

The Chinese government is building a $2 billion (£1.5 billion) artificial intelligence (AI) research park as it looks to become a world leader in the field by 2025, Reuters reports , citing local news agency Xinhua.

The AI research park - to be located in west Beijing - will reportedly be able to accommodate 400 companies and that are expected to generate 50 billion yuan (£5.6 billion) each year.

The park's developer, state-owned Zhongguancun Development Group, is hoping to partner with foreign universities and build a "national-level" AI lab in the area, according to Reuters. It will reportedly aim to attract companies working on big data, biometric identification, deep learning, and cloud computing. 

The AI race could cause tensions

Russian president Vladimir Putin believes that in the future, the country that leads in AI could dominate the world, while tech billionaire Elon Musk thinks AI will be the most likely cause of WWIII  (although his comments should be taken with a pinch of salt).

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, warned in November that China is poised to overtake the US in the field of AI if the US government doesn't act soon.

Speaking at the Artificial Intelligence and Global Security Summit, the former Google CEO said: "Trust me, these Chinese people are good."

He added: "They are going to use this technology for both commercial as well as military objectives with all sorts of implications."

China published its AI strategy in July and said that it wanted to be the world leader in AI by 2025.

"It's pretty simple," said Schmidt, who claims to have read the report. "By 2020 they will have caught up. By 2025 they will be better than us. And by 2030 they will dominate the industries of AI. Just stop for a sec. The [Chinese] government said that."

While the US has Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, OpenAI and others, China has its own enormous tech giants aggressively pursuing AI research. Examples include Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent, to name but a few.
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