By Zhang Lijuan, translated by Wei Jialin
As a strategic technology that leads the scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, artificial intelligence (AI) is an important resource to promote China’s science and technology to achieve leapfrog development, industrial optimization and upgrading, as well as overall productivity improvement. At the same time, AI talents are in short supply. According to the statistics of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the ratio of China’s AI industry development to talent demand is 1:10. The talent gap in the AI industry is expected to reach 5 million by 2030.
“In order to implement an AI national strategy, China needs to make talents a top priority and form a situation in which different types of talents are considered equally important. Those professionals refer to basic ability talents, source innovation talents, industry research and development talents, application development talents, and talents with practical skills,” said Liu Qingfeng, deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC) and chairman of iFlytek Co., Ltd.
It is extremely urgent to solve the problem of professional shortage in the AI industry. When giving an interview to China Report ASEAN, Liu said that he gave advice from five aspects in his proposal this year, and his suggestions are as follows:
First, strengthen the basic subjects setting and quality education, as well as to promote the cultivation of basic talents in the AI field. It is recommended that relevant departments intensify education in basic subjects related to AI such as mathematics, physics, computer science, and communication.
Second, implement a “Scientists Innovative Training Program” in order to cultivate and introduce source innovation talents in the AI field. It is recommended to carry out subject education in different directions in universities focusing on different subjects in various places, create key laboratories in different directions, encourage interdisciplinary interactions and cultivate versatile talents.
Third, build a shared platform and cultivate research and development talents of the AI industry. It is advised that the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security jointly build a shared platform and establish AI universities, which will be conducive to building an open platform and fostering industry professionals, as well as cultivating industrial ecology.
Fourth, implement an “industry professional application project” so as to push forward the cultivation of application professionals of the AI industry. It is encouraged that enterprises and universities set up joint laboratories to conduct innovation and application development.
Fifth, strengthen skills training and development and cultivate skilled workers in the era of AI. Efforts should be made to cultivate industry skilled personnel and skilled workers in practical scenarios and achieve greater and better output through a human-machine collaboration mode, thus continuously promoting the application of AI in various industries.