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Shenzhen University (SZU) is joining hands with locally based Internet giant Tencent, whose founder, Pony Ma, is an alumnus of the university, to set up the College of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which was inaugurated yesterday afternoon.
On the basis of SZU’s College of Computer Science and Software Engineering, the new college was set up to cultivate AI talents, according to Prof. Ming Zhong, its deputy director.
“Developing the AI industry is part of the national strategy and AI is also one of Tencent’s core technologies,” he said in a speech at the inauguration ceremony.
The professor said the college will enroll master’s and Ph.D. students in AI, cloud computing and big data in the near future. Tencent will provide internship opportunities and work with the college to carry out research projects.
An internship base will be built and the college also aims to build a national-level research base in the field of AI, according to Ming.
Wang Hui, vice president of SZU, will take charge of the new college. He said that Tencent has been working closely with the College of Computer Science and Software Engineering, offering firm support over the past decades.
“I believe that the establishment of the College of AI is a powerful combination that gathers the most valuable resources in the AI industry, thereby greatly influencing the industry’s development through collaboration between the academic community and enterprises,” said Wang.
After the ceremony, a forum on AI was organized at the university. Scholars from the Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence and Tencent were invited to attend the forum and share the latest developments in the AI industry.
The university’s College of Computer Science and Software Engineering has been making evident progress over the past three years. According to the latest subject list published by U.S. News Rankings last week, SZU’s computer science program is ranked 100th worldwide and 23rd among all Chinese universities.
This September, the four founders of Tencent — Pony Ma, Zhang Zhidong, Chen Yidan and Xu Chenye — donated a total of 350 million yuan (US$51 million) to the university to mark their alma mater’s 35th anniversary.
The State Council released a development plan for the country’s AI industry last June. The plan aims for the total market size of AI industries in China to exceed 1 trillion yuan by 2020. By 2030, the plan aspires to have reached 10 times this figure.
The market value of China’s AI industry reached 23.7 billion yuan in 2017 and the growth rate is expected to reach 75 percent in 2018, according to Xinhua.