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Experts highlight differences between Internet Plus and big data, calling for tech breakthroughs
August 19, 2016 News


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 differencebetween Internet Plus and big data.

“While the internet has a solid foundation, which Chinese companies can draw upon andenjoy better use amid China’s huge market, there has not yet been a mature technology pathin 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 datais a sector that has technology barriers, says E, a Peking University professor who has led anational research project on unstructured data.

E further explains that big data differs from other scientific subjects, as there can be aseamless connection between technology innovation and the market.

He cited recent fingerprint data technologies, which one of his students has co-developed, asan example. He said his student’s invention, based on first-generation technologiesdeveloped in the 1970s but fast-tracked in just several months with the help of machinelearning, has already been used in the Ministry of Public Security of China’s fingerprint database. 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 heis confident that as long as Chinese scholars solve China’s challenging problems, they cannaturally rise to the top level of the world’s big data science landscape, since frontier researchquestions all derive from the market and China features a unique one due to its hugepopulation, different language and culture.

E also shared his concerns on talent shortages and his advice to build the big data subject atuniversities.

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.

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