China Focus: Smart technologies hone poverty alleviation targeting

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-23 15:48:06|Editor: Yurou
Video PlayerClose

BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Want a free-range hen from a farm 3,000 meters above sea level? You can check them out on a live-stream from Lintan County, northwest China's Gansu Province, which once had an audience of 843,000.

The county, which is on the national list of priority poverty relief, had 320,000 likes on Toutiao, one of the most popular news feed mobile apps in China, and a boost in sales of its chicken products.

In Tongren, Guizhou Province, Wan Jianying, who was relocated from a poverty-stricken area, found with a few clicks a job near his new home within a week.

Mobile live-streaming, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI) - smart technologies are making China's poverty alleviation program more targeted, helping more people earn more and rise to a better life.

China aims to eradicate poverty by 2020, the target year to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

The year of 2019 is an important year for winning the tough battle against poverty by 2020, and China has set the target to reduce the rural poor population by more than 10 million this year.

The first thing technologies like AI can do is to find the people who need help the most, Wu Xiaoru, executive president of China's leading AI company iFlytek, told Xinhua.

Guizhou Province launched its "Poverty Alleviation Cloud" in late 2015, integrating data related to poverty alleviation from 25 government departments.

From massive data, the AI algorithm achieved a more precise quantified detection of poverty-stricken households based on multiple indices, such as education levels, medical records and household work records.

Precisely targeting struggling families, AI and data analysis enable the customization of poverty alleviation, matching people with the most suitable jobs and projects, said Wu.

iFlytek is headquartered in Hefei, Anhui Province, which, aided by iFlytek, launched a targeted poverty alleviation platform.

Wu said the platform can provide registration, matches and evaluation of poverty-stricken families and poverty reduction programs in Anhui, putting funds and resources to best use.

In Gansu Province, ten counties on the national poverty list promoted their produce via live-streaming on Toutiao. Based on data analysis and AI, the content was aimed at promising customers. Sales in these counties increased eight-fold.

Technologies are empowering people working on the frontline of poverty alleviation to solve problems from a long-term prospective.

The central government, for example, has addressed illness-related poverty in recent years, but the shortage of medical staff at primary-level clinics remains a major hurdle, so AI-assisted medical diagnosis is becoming an important tool for doctors in rural China.

The AI medical assistant, a product launched in March by iFlytek, has so far diagnosed more than 900 kinds of diseases at grassroots health centers with an accuracy rate of 97 percent. It has been applied in almost 1,200 clinics and health centers across the country.