People's Daily Tonight: Podcast News (05/19/2018 Sat.)
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This is People’s Daily Tonight. I’m Kitty in Beijing.

It takes more than one day to define positive use of AI

We live in an era in which the industrial revolution and the information technology revolution are both taking place. Artificial intelligence is the intersection of the duo. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General Zhao Houlin said AI’s potential power is being exploited and developed at an unprecedented speed,which will greatly change our economy and society.

Every year on May 17, ITU Members around the world celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD).

“Enabling the positive use of Artificial Intelligence for All” is the theme of this year’s WTISD and ITU members will focus on the potential of AI to accelerate the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.


Image: ITU

A 2017 report by consulting firm PwC about the global impact and adoption of AI said that 72 percent of top business executives believe that AI will contribute to their companies' competitive advantage in the future. It also said that 63 percent of consumers believe AI can help provide solutions for complex problems in modern society.

All these statistics point to the fact that the awareness and anticipation for the benefits of AI are constantly growing. With the ever-changing needs of consumers and their demand for faster, more convenient and more personalized services, AI is in the forefront of options for business owners.

AI companies have been developing their capabilities and the number of new companies has grown rapidly, especially in Europe and Asia. Innovative AI enterprises have emerged rapidly in China, which has become a major market in the AI research and development. The number of AI enterprises in China is close to 1,500, ranking the second in the global market. 



China's patents in the AI industry accounted for about 22 percent of the total globally. By 2020, China's AI industry is expected to reach 150 billion yuan ($23.6 billion). Analysts believe that with the AI industry heating up gradually, the potential market scale will continue to expand. Innovation never stops. 

AI-based technologies are already emerging as a key component of proactive tools and applications being used to help people lead better lives by improving healthcare, education, finance, agriculture, transportation, and a wide range of other services. 

If we take a step back, for household users, people might not care much about AI development. After all, not everyone is talking to Siri or Xiaobing on their smartphones to kill time. 

What customers care more about regarding AI is what practical services AI might offer. For instance, it is common for Chinese mobile phone users to receive cold sales calls, which are selling products nobody is interested in. 



It is safe to bet each time such phone calls are ringing, people are asking the same haunting questions: How did they get my number? Is my privacy safe at all? 

Someday AI could be smart enough to manage users’ privacy, and such harassment calls will become history.

AI has a lot of potential, but as the industrial and information revolutions converge, it is still not clear who the winners will be.

And that’s People’s Daily Tonight. Thanks for joining us.

(Produced by Han Xiaomeng and Wu Kai, the story is written by Dong Feng)