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China applies for 15,745 Artificial Intelligence patents

China has applied for 15,745 Artificial Intelligence patents, ranking second worldwide, according to Liu Lihua, vice minister of industry and information technology.

Over the past week, the Internet has yet again been buzzing about the future of artificial intelligence (AI).

And once again, the heat was generated by AlphaGo, Google’s AI program, which completed a 3-0 clean sweep Friday over Ke Jie, the current world No.1 Go player.

In contrast to the generally negative reactions to AlphaGo’s 4-1 victory over South Korean master Lee Se-dol in March last year, people are now more optimistic towards the future of AI.

“AlphaGo was not designed just to play Go,” said Qian Jianlun, a Go teacher in east China’s Zhejiang Province. “As an AI project, it will change a lot of aspects of our lives.”

Qian’s words echoed the overall positivity shown by the status quo of China’s AI industry.

According to data from iiMedia Research, a major research institution, China’s AI industry increased by 43.3 percent in 2016, surpassing 10 billion yuan (1.47 billion U.S. dollars), and is expected to reach 15.21 billion and 34.43 billion yuan in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

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