A new educational reform in China aims to bring the artificial intelligence from the laboratories to the classrooms of adolescents.

Recently, the first artificial intelligence textbook was published in China, in regard to last year government’s decision to include this subject in the secondary education programme. The teacher presents the history and development of artificial intelligence technology and how it can be used in areas such as facial recognition, autonomous driving and public safety.

“The material focuses not only on the foundations of artificial intelligence, but also on its practical application in everyday life. There is currently a global shortage in this sector, so the textbook and the inclusion of the subject in the curricula clearly represents a breakthrough,” says Prof. Chen Yukun, one of the authors, from the East Chinese Normal University.

At present, about 40 schools across the country have joined the first pilot programme and from the new school year their students will study the subject of “Artificial Intelligence”.

According to government estimates, the demand for artificial intelligence experts in China will be high in the coming years, as it is expected that the sector will create about 5 million new jobs.

The current “Plan for the Development of Artificial Intelligence” in China is from 2016 and the objectives set out therein are sufficiently eloquent. The sector, which is now worth about $2.3 billion, has to grow up to 10 times by 2020 and reach the level of developed countries. By 2025, the value must be about $60.3 billion and the Chinese industry must be leading in some sections of artificial intelligence. By 2030, with $150.8 billion, China must be a leading centre throughout the sector based on investments and its own innovation capacity.

According to PwC’s forecasts, by 2030, the share of artificial intelligence in the world economy will reach $15.7 trillion, which is more than India and China’s shares to date.