Experts highlight differences between Internet Plus and big data, calling for tech breakthroughs
Updated: 2016-08-19 08:43
By Song Jingli(chinadaily.com.cn)
E Weinan made a speech at the Era of China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum held at Peking University on August 16, 2016.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Big data will bring opportunities for those who want to set up their own businesses in the next five to ten years, but only those that have developed technologies hard for others to duplicate via their innovative work can survive and thrive, according to participants at the Era of China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum held at Peking University on Tuesday.
E Weinan, dean of the Beijing Institute of Big Data Research, said there is a big difference between Internet Plus and big data.
"While the internet has a solid foundation, which Chinese companies can draw upon and enjoy better use amid China's huge market, there has not yet been a mature technology path in big data that Chinese companies can rely upon."
Development in big data still needs to be boosted by technology innovation, E emphasized.
Although big data is a hot word in China, when the buzz goes away, people will find big data is a sector that has technology barriers, says E, a Peking University professor who has led a national research project on unstructured data.
E further explains that big data differs from other scientific subjects, as there can be a seamless connection between technology innovation and the market.
He cited recent fingerprint data technologies, which one of his students has co-developed, as an example. He said his student's invention, based on first-generation technologies developed in the 1970s but fast-tracked in just several months with the help of machine learning, has already been used in the Ministry of Public Security of China's fingerprint data base. However, the professor did not detail these technologies in his 15-minute speech.
E, also dean of Peking University's Yuanpei School, which hosted the forum, said he is confident that as long as Chinese scholars solve China's challenging problems, they can naturally rise to the top level of the world's big data science landscape, since frontier research questions all derive from the market and China features a unique one due to its huge population, different language and culture.
E also shared his concerns on talent shortages and his advice to build the big data subject at universities.
He said that if needs could not be met in the future, talent shortages could be a "headache".
China's big data market is expected to reach 822.88 billion yuan ($124 billion) in 2020, up from 76.7 billion yuan in 2014, a report released last August by Guiyang Big Data Exchange showed.