China unveils ambitious three-year plan to dominate AI and computing standards

May 30, 2024

China has launched an ambitious three-year plan to establish itself as a global leader in AI and computing standards. The initiative, “Action Plan for Information Standard Construction (2024-2027),” outlines a comprehensive strategy to strengthen China’s position in the ongoing tech race with the US and other nations.

The plan, spearheaded by China’s Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the State Administration for Market Regulation, focuses on strengthening research and developing standards for advanced chips, computing power infrastructure, quantum technology applications, brain-computer interfaces, and AI, according to an official document published by Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission.

“The Action Plan emphasizes that information technology standards are an important part of the national standards system and an important support for high-quality development driven by information technology,” the Commission said.

“By 2027, the information technology standard working mechanism will be more sound, the layout of the information technology standard system will be more complete, a batch of high-quality information technology standards will be released, the quality of standards will be significantly improved, the implementation effect will be significantly enhanced, the role of information technology standards in leading technological innovation and driving economic and social development will be fully played, and the contribution and influence of international standards will be significantly improved,” the Commission added.

The plan places AI at the center of this mission, recognizing its role as a game-changer.

A key component of the plan is the development of “general, foundational, ethical, security and privacy standards” for large AI models and generative AI, the document added. It also aims to promote the construction of blockchain standards and the development of cross-chain interoperability and smart contract technology standards. Besides, advanced standards in important application and service fields such as cloud computing, cloud-native, distributed cloud, edge cloud, cloud-network integration, cloud applications, intelligent service, and other areas are also in focus.

The plan also intends to “promote the standardization of quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum measurement, and other key technologies, develop standards for brain-computer interfaces, enhance research on input-output, brain information decoding algorithms, brain information security, privacy protection, and related technologies and applications.”

The move is intended to address the current gaps and inefficiencies in applying standards within various government agencies.

From the information technology standards perspective, the statement said that the government faces a series of “shortcomings” such as “lack of coordination across departments and fields, and conflict of standards.”

The implementation of standards is not effective, and the phenomenon of focusing on research and development and neglecting application is still obvious; the influence of international standards work is insufficient, and the professional level, depth of participation, and quality of contribution need to be improved,” the commission added.

The action plan calls for the creation of a cohesive system that integrates computing, storage, telecommunication, and operational capabilities, reflecting the need for seamless technological integration.

China’s push for high-tech self-reliance is seen as a crucial step in transforming its economy due to mounting economic challenges and ongoing US sanctions on key technologies. Last week, the country established a massive $47 billion fund to bolster its chip industry, which is seen as a countermeasure against US efforts to limit China’s access to advanced chip technology.

China’s ambitious plan to set the global agenda for technology standards represents a significant step in the ongoing global competition for technological dominance.

Source:: Computer World

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