|William Xu, chief strategy marketing officer of Huawei, speaks during the Huawei Connect 2018 conference at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center, Thursday. / Courtesy of Huawei|
By Baek Byung-yeul
SHANGHAI -- Huawei will nurture about 1 million artificial intelligence (AI) experts by 2021, the company said Thursday.
"Huawei plans to support 1 million AI developers and partners over the next three years," said William Xu, chief strategy marketing officer of the Chinese tech firm during the second day of the Huawei Connect 2018 conference at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center.
Introducing its strategy in the sector, Xu revealed how AI will bring changes to various industries and how the firm can help its partners with its technology.
"Our goal is to bring intelligence to every person, home, and organization. By 2025, the global AI market is expected to reach 380 billion dollars, 90 percent of which will come from the enterprise market," Xu said.
Reciting the old Chinese saying, "The old horse knows the way," Xu said the firm will transform its IT technicians with experience as experts into AI technology.
"We are always lacking talented experts in every industry. If we are able to adopt AI technology in every industry, I believe we can enhance the efficiency of every business operation by five to 10 percent," he said.
To give examples of how its AI technology can bring changes to industries, Xu spoke of Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport in southern China, which has adopted the firms AI technologies.
"Currently, there are over 1,000 flight departures and arrivals at the Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport every day, with more than 120,000 passengers traveling through. Previously, only around 70 percent of these flights used jet bridges when passengers board or leave the aircraft, but the airport wanted to increase this figure to 80 percent," Xu said.
"The answer was AI. By adopting AI and modernizing its infrastructure, the airport no longer needs to use Gantt charts to manually arrange flight schedules. AI automates this process. Now, about 80 percent of flights use jet bridges instead of remote staircases."
Xu said Huawei is also working with the airport to adopt its facial recognition technology for more smooth customs clearance.
Since June, the Shenzhen Traffic Police have been using Huawei Cloud to manage traffic lights in nine intersections in the city. With the technology, visitors to the airport can get through the airport security 15 percent faster, he claimed.
The AI technology could be a solution for traffic issues. "AI-powered traffic lights count vehicles in real time and control the traffic automatically. Using this technology, we can save up to 10 minutes which is a huge amount of time in the busy morning rush hours," Xu said.
Huawei has been expanding its AI business. The firm announced Wednesday that it will roll out AI chips for enterprise and internet of things (IoT) devices in the second quarter of next year.
The three-day conference also features the Chinese firm's sponsors and partner companies including Korean firms Samsung Electronics and SK hynix. The Korean chip makers introduced their NAND and DRAM products used for data centers. An SK hynix official said it decided to join the Huawei conference as the firm "has formed a strong partnership with Huawei for years and we want to introduce our chips to more Chinese firms."