Want to Major in AI? You'll Soon Be Able to at 35 Chinese Universities

By Ryan Gandolfo, May 27, 2019

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China’s Ministry of Education recently gave approval for 35 universities to create an artificial intelligence (AI) major, according to China Daily. The announcement comes as the PRC is encouraging more students to pursue a career involving AI.

Arguably China’s two most prestigious schools, Peking and Tsinghua University, will begin recruiting students for their AI programs this year. Tsinghua recently published a report that estimated China had a talent shortage of 1.5 million in the big data field in 2018, with the gap expected to expand to 2 million by 2025.

According to a McKinsey Global Institute report in November 2017, an estimated 400 to 800 million individuals around the globe could lose their jobs to automation by 2030, with a large portion of new jobs likely to require people to learn a new set of skills.

China is angling for a position in the vanguard of the swiftly expanding AI movement. In July 2017, Xinhua reported that the Middle Kingdom set a goal to become “a major center and world leader in AI innovation by 2030,” with over 20 provinces in the country having already announced policies that will support the AI industry.

On Monday, May 27, China’s top universities and tech companies, including Peking and Tsinghua University as well as Baidu and Alibaba, unveiled the Beijing AI Principles, a set of ethical standards for conducting AI research. According to Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence (BAAI) Director Zeng Yi, “The Beijing Principles reflect our position, vision and our willingness to create a dialogue with international society.”

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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