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Highland for AI applications planned in Huangpu

October 25, 2019

Showcasing the city's latest achievements on artificial intelligence, Huangpu District will launch a number new intelligent applications at landmark sites, like Nanjing Road, the Bund and People's Square, in the initial phase to better serve residents and tourists.

The Huangpu government unveiled a batch of new policies and industrial guidelines on Wednesday to encourage and support the integrated development of AI with other businesses. The downtown district aims to become a demonstration base for AI applications and attract the world's top AI companies.

As part of the efforts, the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall will undergo intelligent renovations for its popular shopping complexes such as the Shanghai New World Department Stores, Daimaru Department Store and Shimao International Plaza.

The number of visitors on the popular walking street will be closely monitored to ensure safety. Intelligent facilities will offer accurate guidance to shoppers, while the malls will able to send promotion information to their target customers, said Hu Yong, director of Huangpu's science commission.

AI will also be used to send alerts on visitors' numbers, assist patrolling police officers, and enhance the security management of the Bund, Hu added. Some of the applications have already been launched, such as facial recognition, ground sensors and big data analysis.

An unlicensed guide, for instance, was caught by AI after the facial recognition cameras found the suspect was accompanying different groups of people on the Bund every day, according to Hu.

For areas around People's Square, which is being developed into a major destination for international art performances, AI will help boost the effects of performances, improve the management of cultural venues as well as assist in the repairs of cultural relics at local museums.

An AI garbage bin has also been developed to recognize the category of rubbish with light sensation to help promote the waste classification campaign. An alert will be triggered if trash is dumped in the wrong bin.

"Huangpu District is endeavoring to become Shanghai's highland for AI applications with global influence and aims to create an ecological system for AI development," Hu said.

AI technologies will be integrated with finance, health, retail, commerce, government affairs, traffic, education, culture and tourism.

Among them, five major AI scenarios will be developed and selected in Huangpu to showcase the city's AI achievements along with 15 innovative AI projects, according to the guidelines.

A swathe of leading AI companies, as well as top scientists and professionals will gather in Huangpu. The best AI project can receive the maximum subsidy of 3 million yuan (US$423,585) from the government.

To support the ambition, Huangpu has built over 300 macro stations for 5G, the next generation of mobile communications technology, covering the Bund, Nanjing Road, People's Square, Xintiandi, Huaihai Road and Yuyuan Garden.

A total of 527 5G stations will be built to cover the whole territory of Huangpu by the year-end, Hu said.

The 5G network is able to provide a peak single-user download speed of 1.6 Gbps, nearly 16 times faster than 4G. Aside from speed, the low latency of the 5G network is especially helpful for applications of the Internet of Things.

Huangpu has also established a big data center with abundant data collected from its financial institutes, landmark shopping malls and hospitals. The center will help develop the intelligent applications, according to the district government.