An AI conference has once again brought Chengdu closer to AI.
As the host city of the 2021 China AI Conference, thought leaders, industry experts, and business elites from the scientific and technological community gathered in Chengdu to conduct valuable theoretical sharing, technical research, and opinion collision around the hot topics of AI, intelligent medicine, AI art, and smart hydropower.
After the labels of Bashi, tavern, Wuhou Temple, and the capital of fashion, AI, which was originally embraced by the main forces of science and technology innovation in Beijing and Shenzhen, is becoming a new business card of Chengdu in the field of industrial innovation. The industrial ecosystem with AI as its theme is becoming a new anchor point of Chengdu.
The relationship between Chengdu and AI has further heated up, which has also triggered a new topic, that is, in the context of industrial transformation, why should Chengdu actively associate with AI?
01 Chengdu Story of AI
Perhaps in the perception of many people, Chengdu is still the land of abundance known for its leisure. The whole city is filled with a relaxed and lazy atmosphere. The tortuous courtyards of Jinli Ancient Street, the bustling and bustling Chunxi Road, and the urban customs of Taikouli have condensed into a romantic and lingering impression of Chengdu.
However, in the narrative logic of industrial transformation and upgrading, Chengdu is not trapped by “Bashi”. It is precisely one of the most closely related cities with AI in China.
It can be corroborated by the news that four months ago, the Chengdu National AI Innovation and Application Pilot Zone was inaugurated and officially entered the new development stage of “two-wheel drive” of the National New Generation AI Innovation and Development Pilot Zone and the National AI Innovation and Application Pilot Zone. According to the development plan formulated by Chengdu, the industrial scale of AI will exceed 80 billion yuan by 2023, and concrete tasks such as strengthening key technology research, creating demonstration application scenarios, and implementing the “AI+medical” demonstration application project are proposed.
While establishing the goal of AI industry, Chengdu is also implementing a series of AI projects in sequence.
For example, the Phase I project of Chengdu Intelligent Computing Center, which was publicly tendered more than a month ago, will build a 300P FLOPS artificial intelligence computing platform, and the final computing scale will reach 1000P. Chengdu’s ambition to further strengthen the artificial intelligence industry cluster and build the “strongest brain” in southwest China is self-evident.
Another example is that Sichuan has incubated a large number of enterprises related to artificial intelligence in the past few years, and outstanding talents such as Hua Kun Zhenyu and Chuanda Zhisheng have emerged. By the end of 2020, there have been more than 600 AI related enterprises in Sichuan, with a total revenue of more than 40 billion yuan, and the industrial demand is very strong.
It is not difficult to understand the internal reason why Chengdu actively embraces AI. Through the computing power and industrial advantages of AI, it is the only way for Chengdu to plan the birthplace of AI technology innovation, build the AI industry ecosystem, and shape the AI industry ecological sample.
At the recently concluded 2021 China AI Conference, Li Yun, a member of the Party Leadership Group of the Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, and Deng Taihua, a senior vice president of Huawei and president of the computing product line, jointly witnessed the establishment of the “Chengdu Shengteng AI Ecological Innovation Center”. On the basis of the Chengdu Intelligent Computing Center, they will undertake the responsibilities of public computing services, application innovation incubation, industrial convergence development, scientific research innovation and talent training, and provide enterprises, universities, research institutes Government departments and others provide AI computing power.
Behind a series of stories related to AI, it indicates that Chengdu is gathering upstream and downstream industrial ecology to promote the intelligent transformation and upgrading of all industries, and Chengdu’s AI journey has a new footnote.
02 Multiplier effect of force freedom
There is a concept in economics called multiplier effect, which is used to describe the chain reaction of economic aggregate changes caused by the increase or decrease of a certain variable in economic activities.
The same idea seems to apply to AI.
In the layout of artificial intelligence industry in Chengdu, the location of Chengdu Intelligent Computing Center can be said to be quite eye-catching. Especially under the background that AI infrastructure needs a large amount of early investment, why does Chengdu aim at AI basic services and take computing power center as the first step?
This is because algorithm, data and computing power are considered as the three elements of AI. The value of AI computing center is to solve the bottleneck of computing power. Once the enterprise has achieved the freedom of computing power, the emergence of multiplier effect is only a matter of time. The most direct example is the Wuhan Artificial Intelligence Computing Center. Based on the computing center, Wuhan University has created the world’s first dedicated framework for remote sensing (Wuhan. LuojiaNet), which has made major breakthroughs in the whole image analysis and data set minimal reading and processing for “large format, multi-channel” remote sensing images.
Chengdu is no stranger to the “sweetness” brought by computing power.
As mentioned earlier, Kawasaki Zhisheng has been deeply engaged in 3D face recognition technology for a long time. In order to break the restriction of AI computing power, Chuanda Zhisheng switched from the Bitland platform to the Atlas 200 AI acceleration module of Huawei. With the same business processing accuracy, the computing time of the whole process was reduced from 40 ms to about 20 ms, and the efficiency was nearly doubled.
For example, after the transfer of the traditional architecture to Ascension, the overall training recall rate of the solution is the same as Tensorflow, and the accuracy has been improved by 6.8%, and the overall performance has been improved by 100%.
The main task of Chengdu Shengteng Artificial Intelligence Ecological Innovation Center mentioned above is to provide enterprises with more favorable and convenient production tools at the application level, and help enterprises create valuable products with “tools”. For example, improve the image classification ability of smart phones, improve the automatic driving ability of cars, and help scenic spots of all sizes in Sichuan Province have the service and operation ability of smart tourism
What’s more, Chengdu not only gathers a large number of AI enterprises, but also has domestic first-class scientific research institutions such as the University of Electronic Science and Technology, Sichuan University, Chengdu Branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which have in-depth research in intelligent algorithms, intelligent materials, intelligent devices, intelligent manufacturing, intelligent medicine and other fields. The mission of Chengdu Shengteng Artificial Intelligence Ecological Innovation Center is to open the door to computational freedom for research institutions and high-tech enterprises.
Then consider the reasons why Chengdu has built an intelligent computing center and an ecological innovation center. In the situation of high cost of AI computing, not all enterprises have the ability to break the bottleneck of computing power independently like Kawasaki Zhisheng. AI computing centers are like the “power plants” of cities in the era of intelligence. When more and more enterprises cross the mountains of computing power, there will be more and more multiplier effects, which will provide a continuous impetus for industrial innovation.
03 A wonderful move of the Intelligent Computing Center
In addition to the Chengdu Intelligent Computing Center under construction, 21 cities in China have jointly lit up the AI computing network, including Shenzhen, Wuhan, Xi’an, Beijing, Shanghai and other important economic towns. For this phenomenon, we can find two reasonable explanations:
First, the need for AI computing power is urgent. In the past decade alone, the demand for computing power of algorithms has increased by 1 million times, and the corresponding input of AI computing power has also increased. However, AI computing power is different from traditional computing power. It needs to support the development, training and reasoning of algorithm models, and also needs special AI chips and frameworks.
Huawei Ascent is one of the few platforms in China that can provide full-stack AI capabilities, covering products such as Atlas series hardware, heterogeneous computing architecture CANN, Ascent MindSpot, Ascent application enabling MindX, and one-stop development platform ModelArts. It helps partners and developers use AI capabilities efficiently and innovate scenario-based AI applications, which can be said to be the best option to fill the AI computing power gap.
The second is the added value of AI computing center. Referring to Wuhan, Shenzhen, Xi’an and other cities, the model of “one center and four platforms” has been adopted, that is, based on the artificial intelligence computing center, the public computing service platform, the application innovation incubation platform, the industrial aggregation development platform and the talent training platform have been built simultaneously.
It is also another reason why Chengdu likes AI computing centers. According to the planning of the artificial intelligence industry ecosystem in Chengdu, it will attract enterprises, technology, talent, capital and other high-end elements to gather through application scenarios to form a development model of “Chengdu creation, Chengdu transformation, and Chengdu output”. At present, Shengteng has 34 certified partners in Chengdu, and the number of solutions produced is the first in the country. Among them, 9 local enterprises have completed compatibility tests with Shengsi MindSpot and obtained the certification of Shengsi MindSpot.
It is not excluded that after the Chengdu Intelligent Computing Center and Chengdu Shengteng Artificial Intelligence Ecological Innovation Center are officially put into operation, talent training, scene landing, industrial agglomeration, etc. have experienced exponential growth.
If the perspective is more macro, the proliferation of AI computing centers is also proving another wonderful move.
According to the release of the White Paper 2.0 of the AI Computing Center, the AI computing center is being extended to the AI computing power network. Once the AI computing centers around the world are connected into a network, the state of computing resources can be sensed dynamically and in real time, and computing tasks can be distributed and scheduled as a whole, forming a network for sensing, allocating and scheduling AI computing power in the region, which is expected to form a unified interconnection standard and application interface standard, reduce the landing threshold and computing cost of AI, and then enable more industries and scenarios.
Following this logic, as the first national AI innovation and application pilot area in western China, Chengdu has a model demonstration role and ripple radiation effect that cannot be underestimated. Chengdu Intelligent Computing Center and its supporting facilities will be a digital bridge that will affect Sichuan and Chongqing and even the whole western region.
04 Write at the end
AI is not only a vent, but also the key to open the door of the future.
From the standpoint of the city, the power consumption will be an important economic indicator for a period of time in the future. How much AI computing power a city can master will directly affect the quality and intelligent level of regional economy.
It can be concluded that there will be more and more cities like Chengdu, which will consolidate the basic service capacity through the way of artificial intelligence computing center, and enhance the soft power through the mode of ecological innovation center, to escort more and more local enterprises to participate in the wave of industrial intelligence.