China has launched a new national research institute that will focus on educating the country’s children about artificial intelligence from a young age and introduce more AI applications into the academic arena, The Beijing News reported Tuesday.
The China Children’s Artificial Intelligence Education Research Institute is a collaborative project of the China National Children’s Center, a nonprofit under the country’s Cabinet; the Ministry of Education; and top schools like Peking University. The institute aims to research how AI will change the way kids learn and to spark an interest in AI that will prepare them well for a technology-saturated future.
China has ambitious plans to become a global AI superpower, but research shows it’s still lagging behind developed nations in terms of AI talent. With an aim to developing the domestic AI sector, Chinese authorities in 2017 announced a plan to get education institutions to expand the AI talent pool by encouraging children to learn techniques such as coding and improving the current education system through “intelligent education,” which entails using AI in teaching and implementing technologies like facial recognition in the classroom.