Yuan Hui: Hainan's AI Industry has a Bright Future

By Cai Rong, Marian / HICN / Updated: 23:59,18-April-2021

Editor's note:

On April 18, 2021, this year’s annual Boao Forum for Asia began; and, once again, representatives from the world’s political, business and academic circles gathered in Hainan. 

Twenty years ago, Bo’ao was still a little-known fishing village. Now that 20 years have passed, Bo’ao has become a globally influential international exchange platform with Asian characteristics. Over this 20 year period the scale and influence of the Boao Forum for Asia has continued to expand and the Forum has played a unique role in both deepening regional cooperation and in solving issues (both Asian and global).

The New Hainan APP, Hainan International Media Center and Nanguo Think Tank collaborate to publish a series of top-level interviews: “New Hainan Ideas @ Big Name BFA Talks” which, as the name indicates, invites major players from various industries to talk with us about the historical and ongoing development of the Forum, general trends in the economies of Asia, and the changes going on in the world. Stay tuned to see and learn more about this important event and how it provides a breeding ground for ideas to bounce off of each other and grow.

Over the past few years, Yuan Hui, the founder and chairman of Xiao-i (a leading Artificial Intelligence technology company) has been a regular guest at the artificial intelligence themed subforum of the annual Boao Forum for Asia. Each of the four consecutive years which he attended the Forum, he has felt that he came away with new knowledge and new perspectives. A few days ago, Mr. Yuan gave an exclusive interview with the Hainan International Media Center wherein he stated that he is very much looking forward to the upcoming event and the way in which the multicultural multiparty brainstorming sessions spark new insight. He believes that artificial intelligence will become one of the future core technologies promoting world development; and, that Hainan can make full use of its own inherent advantages to accelerate the application of AI technology in Hainan and to create models and templates for technology empowerment. 

Artificial Intelligence is Developing Rapidly

“When I talk about the ongoing process of technological transformation taking place around the world, I’m talking about the way the development of AI is changing the world.” He said, “There are many reasons that I’m eager to attend the Forum: I want to hear the demands of different fields and different industries for artificial intelligence applications; I want to share the results of my industry’s response to new changes and challenges; and, I also want to be inspired to new ideologies and new ways of thinking.”
Yuan Hui believes that huge crises and huge changes both give birth to huge opportunities. During the past two years too many surprising and unexpected things have happened to and in the world and the future is currently full of uncertainty. Wherever they come from in the world, all of the guests and attendees at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference are talents in their fields. Their views and thoughts on the current world situation and the difficulties which are being encountered lead to a lot of mutual insight. Every guest attending the conference hopes to hear voices from different industries and different perspectives; and the BFA is one of the most attractive places to be doing that. 
According to Mr. Yuan, there were two previous waves of artificial intelligence development; however, both of these waves eventually stalled and failed. The reason for this, says he, is that AI is a comprehensive discipline involving science, technology, humanities, morality, and ethics; therefore, it needs a lot of auxiliary elements to support its effective development. In the past, the necessary foundations and supports had not yet been built. Another reason for failure was deviation of the development path. Previously, people had hoped to build a comprehensive all-in-one robot like something out of the Transformers. However, the current development level of human tech does not yet allow for this goal to be achieved. As a result, up till now, many of the companies engaged in artificial intelligence research have chosen a different path. Instead of an overall intelligence, they are now seeking to develop field-specific commercial artificial intelligences which lead to AI applications in fields such as healthcare, education, and city management. These fields are thoroughly intertwined with people's daily lives and greatly affect (up to the point of even changing) people’s production methods, their production capabilities, and their lifestyles. Therefore, it can be seen that this field-specific form of AI has created great value. Over the next few decades, the affect which they have may ripple out like a waves from a rock thrown into a pond and its possible that we may eventually come to see accelerated changes beyond our greatest imaginings. Therefore, there is currently no place in the world where artificial intelligence is not a highly valued commodity; there is no country which does not regard artificial intelligence and its development as a core strategy; and, it can be assured that Third Wave Artificial Intelligence will not stall and fail the way the first and second waves did. 

Artificial Intelligence Should Help Provide Better Service 

“AI knows no national borders. In the future, AI tech will be as ubiquitous to our descendants as air and water are today; and, AI will be the core technology that will fundamentally drive our future world.”As Mr. Yuan expressed, people should look at AI tech with an open mind; and, they should let AI power more industries, more scenarios, and more regions. With the application and promotion of artificial intelligence in different fields and different regions, the maturity of AI algorithms and products will be promoted. Hainan can make full use of its unique geographical environment and free trade port policy advantages along with the comprehensive advantages of latecomer industries to accelerate the application of the AI industry on the island and to make the whole province a model and a template for empowered artificial intelligence.



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