The following white paper issued by a PRC state-run think tank provides an extensive overview of Chinese government standards-setting related to AI. Appendices list all of China’s current and planned AI standards and include case studies of recent PRC applications of AI in fields such as mass surveillance and smart logistics.
The Chinese source text is available online at: http://www.cesi.cn/images/editor/20210721/20210721160350880.pdf
An archived version of the Chinese source text is available at: https://perma.cc/Y3J4-BBPL
US $1 ≈ 6.5 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB), as of September 29, 2021.
Artificial Intelligence Standardization White Paper
The Party Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to the development of new generation artificial intelligence (AI). General Secretary Xi Jinping noted that: “AI is a strategic technology heralding this round of S&T revolution and industrial transformation, and has a “lead goose” (“头雁”) effect with a strong stimulating nature… Accelerating the development of new generation AI is an important strategic handhold for China to gain the initiative in global science and technology competition.” In response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Party Central Committee and the State Council have upgraded the construction of new infrastructure, one of which is AI, to the level of national strategy. The State Council issued and implemented the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan1 and other documents, focusing on the industrialization and integrated application of new generation AI technology to accelerate the integration of AI into the real economy and to strive to promote the comprehensive and healthy development of AI technology and the industry.
With the joint efforts of government, industry, academia, research institutes, and users (政产学研用), the development of China’s AI industry has achieved remarkable results. First, our innovation capability continues to increase. Technologies such as image recognition and intelligent speech have reached a leading level globally, and the country’s number of AI papers and patents ranks among the top in the world. Second, the scale of the industry continues to grow, and a complete AI industry chain has been formed in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, and elsewhere. Third is the continuous deepening of integrated applications and the continuous emergence of new business formats and models, such as smart manufacturing, smart transportation, and intelligent healthcare, which further highlights the enabling role of industry development.
While China’s AI industry has achieved remarkable results, it is facing many difficulties and challenges, such as large deficiencies in the underlying technology, fewer applications that can achieve commercial success, and high thresholds for integration with the real economy. The Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Certain Important Issues Concerning Upholding and Improving the System of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Promoting the Modernization of the National Governance System and Governance Capacity2 notes that it is necessary to “strengthen standards guidance and enhance the industrial basic capabilities and the modernization level of the production chain.” The development of the AI industry is inseparable from the guidance of standards, and a solid implementation of AI standardization is of great significance for making breakthroughs in core technologies, accelerating the implementation of applications, and improving the industrial ecosystem.
On the basis of the Artificial Intelligence Standardization White Paper (2018 Edition),3 this white paper further proposes the following contents: First, an analysis of the current state and development trend of the AI industry from the perspective of the production chain; second, an introduction to the current internationally recognized system life cycle model, AI ecosystem framework, and machine learning technology framework; third, a sorting of the key work of major AI standardization organizations at home and abroad; fourth, the implementation of the Guidelines for the Construction of the National New Generation Artificial Intelligence Standard System (GBL  No. 35) and the formation of the framework of the AI standards system and the list of standards systems; and fifth, the combination of the progress of standardization work and the construction of the standards system, with proposed recommendations for China’s key tasks of AI standardization.
Download Full TranslationArtificial Intelligence Standardization White Paper (2021 Edition)
- Translator’s note: For an English translation of this document, see: https://www.newamerica.org/cybersecurity-initiative/digichina/blog/full-translation-chinas-new-generation-artificial-intelligence-development-plan-2017/
- Translator’s note: The Decision is the document that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) issued on November 5, 2019 following the Fourth Plenum of the 19th CCP Central Committee.
- Translator’s note: For CSET’s English translation of the 2018 edition of this white paper, see: https://cset.georgetown.edu/publication/artificial-intelligence-standardization-white-paper/