Employment of AI and other digital technologies benefits citizens in Shanghai

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A visitor plays Chinese chess with a humanoid robot during the warm-up for the 2021 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) held in east China’s Shanghai, July 7, 2021. (Photo by Yang Jianzheng/People’s Daily Online)
A visitor plays Chinese chess with a humanoid robot during the warm-up for the 2021 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) held in east China’s Shanghai, July 7, 2021. (Photo by Yang Jianzheng/People’s Daily Online)

By Xie Weiqun, Shen Wenmin

Residents in east China’s Shanghai are witnessing and benefiting from the application of a good number of AI and other digital technologies catering for economic and social development, people’s livelihood and other fields.

In 2018, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital carried out in-depth cooperation with relevant science and technology enterprises in the diagnosis and treatment of venous thromboembolism. They creatively designed an AI system to assist doctors with diagnosis and formulation of treatment regimens and nursing staff in their work, helping medical workers better safeguard patients’ health and safety.

A few days ago, a 55-year-old female patient hospitalized for meniscus injury at the Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital got two different results in the assessment of her condition. She got two points in the assessment by a doctor, but three points in the assessment by the AI system.

It was found out that while assessing the patient’s health condition, the AI system automatically identified the fact that the patient had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As proven by further inquiries, the patient was admitted to the respiratory medicine department of the hospital a year ago.

By complementing “blind spots” in the acquisition of information through manual work, the AI system helps make diagnosis and treatment more effective and accurate.

At the beginning of 2021, Shanghai issued a guideline on comprehensively promoting digital transformation in economy, people’s life and social governance, aiming to become an internationally influential metropolis for digitization by 2035.

The city has successfully held the World Artificial Intelligence Conference for three consecutive years, and recently won the approval for the implementation of its Field Experiment Plan for AI Application. It is seeing steady progress in the construction of the country’s new-generation national AI innovative development pilot zone and national pilot zone for the innovation and application of AI.

These achievements have laid a sound foundation for developing Shanghai into a leader in AI industry and building world-class AI industrial clusters in the city during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) of China.

As of 2020, the city had 1,149 key enterprises in the AI industry and formed a relatively complete AI industrial chain. The city saw the combined annual industrial output value of its AI enterprises above designated size reach 224.6 billion yuan (about $34.68 billion) last year, up around 50 percent year on year.

Attaching great importance to the employment of AI for improving people’s livelihood, Shanghai installed intelligent water meter for elderly people who live alone. If the reading on the water meter of a house is below 0.01 cubic meter in 12 hours, the unified management platform of the subdistrict will automatically raise the alarm. Then people from the management office or the residents’ committee of the subdistrict will immediately go to the home of the elderly resident to check his/her condition.

The city also established a platform to address social problems using AI and big data technologies. For instance, if a citizen discovers disorderly parking of shared bicycles, he/she can take photos of it and post them on the platform, which will then quickly identify the problem and automatically inform relevant people of the situation.

AI and digital transformation reinforce, complement and integrate with each other, said Wu Jincheng, director of Shanghai Economy and Information Technology Commission.

According to Wu, on the one hand, AI is an important driving force for digital transformation of the city, and on the other hand, digital transformation in Shanghai provides better opportunities, a huge stage, and more application scenarios for the development of AI.

Starting from the smallest unit of the city’s governance, Shanghai has embarked upon a brand new path of social governance, trying to connect and benefit residents in the whole city with AI systems and smart technologies.

On July 7, Shanghai released the results of the second phase of its “smallest governance unit” digital governance innovation project, which suggested that the city had established 12 innovation scenarios of urban smart complex, which have involved 58 urban digital transformation ecosystem partners.

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