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Life changing digital technology in spotlight at Internet summit
   2016-11-16 23:12:42    Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Xu

Fifteen of the latest digital inventions, ranging from Tesla's autonomous vehicle to a new generation of semi-conductors, were on show on Wednesday at the third World Internet Conference (WIC) held in east China.

The organizer, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), appointed committee of 33 technologists from home and abroad to screen about 500 entries submitted by companies and research institutes over the past year, and select those which best represent current trends.

Optic fiber specialist Wu Hequan who chaired the committee, said many of the achievements were already widely acknowledged. Nine of the winners came from foreign companies, including Microsoft, Tesla and Qualcomm.

Microsoft's HoloLens, for instance, is a hologram-projecting visor that enables users to see three-dimensional digital controls and immerse themselves deeper in a digital environment. It overlays digital information on top of the real world to create a mixed reality, while interacting with holograms in mixed reality enables users to visualize and work with digital content as part of their real world.

"If we can change the way we see the world, we change the world as well," said Microsoft executive vice president Shen Xiangyang.

Compared to the West, China started late in digital technology research, but recent progress has been impressive. Among the Chinese winners was search engine Baidu's artificial intelligence (AI) creation Baidu Brain.

The company's executive Zhang Keqin said the Brain is composed of advanced algorithms and super computing power, built on super-large scale neural networks. It is the nerve center of Baidu's autonomous car, facial and voice recognition, and robots that can compose and read poems or comment on a live football match.

He said the company's cloud computing will soon allow patients to consult a robot which can read basic medical reports and make diagnosis based on the huge amount of data it processes.

"In the age of AI, every person and every job will be affected. Let's think about all the possibilities and start again," he said.

China has over 700 million Internet users and some of the world's leading tech companies. Most of them are exploring the new opportunities in AI, the Internet of Things, and virtual reality.

"We hope to use this technology to accelerate change in thousands of sectors in China and the world," Zhang added.

The event is part of the third World Internet Conference, an annual meeting of the world's tech firm bosses, academics and government officials.

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