/How much do Chinese know about AI?

How much do Chinese know about AI?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has become a buzzword around the world. Just this Tuesday, Google’s AI program AlphaGo defeated current Go world champion Ke Jie in the first out of three games in China. As AI technology emerges and AI-powered products become part of our lives, it makes people wonder its impact and to what extent people actually know about AI.

With about 700 million users, China’s news aggregator giant Toutiao conducted a survey in China with 3,088 valid samples, and released a report on how its users perceive AI. In short, the report shows that people in China have a vague understanding of AI products.

Here are some highlights of the report.

The channels which respondents learnt of AI (from left to right): news, movies, books, friends, don’t know, professionals from the AI field. Photo from Toutiao.
The channels which respondents learnt of AI (from left to right): news, movies, books, friends, don’t know, professionals from the AI field. Photo from Toutiao.

It didn’t come as a surprise that 87 percent of the respondents learnt of AI from the news, whereas 6.23 percent said they know little about it.

Also, Chinese people find it hard to define an AI product. About 41 percent of the respondents believe they have used an AI product, while roughly 40 percent don’t think they have used one before. The rest at nearly 18 percent are not sure what is considered an AI product.

According to the report, it is worth noting that 53.15 percent of the respondents support the development of artificial intelligence. However, they also raised some concerns. Most of them are worried that AI robots will replace the human workforce and the damages that this technology may lead to.

The geographical distribution of AI product users in China. Photo from Toutiao.
The geographical distribution of AI product users in China. Photo from Toutiao.

Referring to the infographic above, AI product users mostly live in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, and Wuhan. Of these major cities, Beijing remains the hub of the AI industry.

The age distribution of AI product users in China. Photo from Toutiao.
The age distribution of AI product users in China. Photo from Toutiao.

Over 70 percent of AI product users in China are young people aged between 18 to 30 years old, while users between ages 31 to 40 years old account for 22.6 percent.

The smartphone brands that AI product users have in China. Photo from Toutiao.
The smartphone brands that AI product users have in China. Photo from Toutiao.

The majority of AI product users in China choose to use iPhones at 28 percent. Xiaomi and Huawei also top the list at 15 percent and 12 percent respectively.

(Top photo from pixabay)

Timmy contributes at AllChinaTech. He's passionate about photography, education, food and all things tech. He holds a master's degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.