Institutes & Centers
Qingtian is a thousand-year-old county, famous for being the hometown of stone carvings and overseas Chinese; while Zhejiang Lab (ZJ Lab) is a new research and development institution established for more than five years, focusing on intelligent computing research. What will take place between the two places even when they are hundreds of kilometers apart?
At the end of April, the ZJ Lab's Youth Ph.D. Team came to Qingtian to carry out theme-based educational practices, including front-line investigation and implementation of "learning, thinking, practicing and understanding", and to explore new paths to enabling common prosperity with technology through in-depth exchanges with local primary organizations and S&T popularization lectures for local left-behind children.
Ph.D. Fellows' Support and Technology Empowerment
"90% of the land in Qingtian is occupied by mountains and hills, 5% by water and only 5% left for fields". It shows that a pleasant environment has been developed in such a mountainous area as Qingtian, which however limits the local development. Due to limited resources, Qingtian began thinking of how to get around geo-blocking, foster new business models, and nurture new growth drivers.
Which industries will benefit from Qingtian's digital economy and metaverse? Qingtian Innovation Empowerment Center has just kicked off. How to better go global, look for a favorable position, and play its role? How to revitalize rural education with Internet +? At Qingtian Innovation Empowerment Center, representatives of local authorities and enterprises came to the academic salon with questions. Focusing on these local issues of concern, ZJ Lab's Youth Ph.D. Team has made full preparations.
"Metaverse is the fusion of physical space, virtual space, social space, and robot space, which requires end-edge-cloud collaborative computing to prop up large-scale real-time concurrent requirements." Dr. XIE Tian, a Senior Engineering Specialist at the Research Center for Intelligent Transportation, talked about the meaning of metaverse and its related technologies, and shared the technical advantages and specific applications of the Center's self-developed achievement – an intelligent driving simulation test and training platform. Dr. CHI Shengqiang, a Senior Research Specialist at the Research Center for Healthcare Data Science, talked about the application prospects of AI-empowered intelligent healthcare based on the research and development of multi-center intelligent medical information platform.
During the free discussion, the Ph.D. fellows from ZJ Lab unreservedly shared metaverse-related technologies and research results in their respective fields. "The key to making better use of the Internet in education is to strengthen the application of Internet thinking from two perspectives: teachers and families. Through the Internet and AI, for example, teachers can improve teaching plans accurately and accelerate knowledge production. In addition, they can use the Internet to summarize student profiles and feed them back to parents, so as to better match the teaching objectives." CHEN Yuanmi, a Senior Engineering Specialist at ZJ Lab's Research Center for Intelligent Education, gave her own thoughts on Internet + education.
"Our Research Center for Multi-Modal Intelligence has been doing research on affective identification and affective computing, appearance and interaction personification of digital humans, exploration of LLM (Large Language Model) and AIGC (AI Generated Content) capacity. I believe that there will be many points of cooperation with Qingtian Innovation Empowerment Center in the future," XIA Peiyong, an Engineering Expert at ZJ Lab's Research Center for Multi-Modal Intelligence, said.
"During my visit to Qingtian, I learned more about the need for innovative technologies at the front line of the grassroots level. After returning to the Lab, I will also share my experience with my team members and discuss how to align scientific research more closely with industrial applications to accelerate the transformation of achievements and boost the local economic and social development," Dr. ZHANG Ji from ZJ Lab's Research Center for Intelligent Robotics said.
"I believe that both sides will take this exchange activity as a starting point to facilitate project cooperation on metaverse, intelligent computing and AI, so as to empower Qingtian's high-quality leapfrog development with talents and technologies," ZHENG Yuhua, Vice President of ZJ Lab and Vice Chairman of Zhejiang Youth High-level Talents Association, said.
S&T Popularization Boosts and Inspires Curiosity
Starting from Qingtian County, ZJ Lab's Youth Ph.D. Team drove all the way west and upwards the mountain and past the jade-like Tankeng Reservoir that was clearly visible from the window, and arrived at Beishan Town Central School. This is the only township-level nine-year school in the Tankeng Reservoir area, which undertakes compulsory education for local non-immigrant children.
"Sir, can it make monster voices?" "Sir, can digital humans perform 'groove battle' in sign language?" "Sir, what can this drone be used for?" When the Ph.D. fellows from ZJ Lab met funny kids, they were probably left scratching their heads.
AI is used for voice creation, sign language generation and motion capture. What are the uses of different types of drones? What does the intelligent manned aerial vehicle developed by ZJ Lab look like? In the morning's popular science class, the Ph.D. fellows not only showed their "black technology" to the students at Beishan Town Central School, but also led them to experience the joy of flying drones.
"I thought before I left, what are the benefits of a popular science class for children? I was a little nervous at first, but after interacting with cute kids, I was touched by their happiness and realized that the significance of science popularization is not to raise test scores, but to broaden children's vision limited by the mountainous geography and light up their scientific dreams," Dr. MAO Shuiyang from ZJ Lab's Research Center for Artificial Intelligence and Fine Arts said.
"The lack of recreational facilities for children in the reservoir area leaves them to be gradually attracted to mobile phones after school. As a result, buzz words have become the staple of their conversation between classes. In the afternoon after the team left, I was surprised to discover in the last reading class that what was circulated among the students was not the comic books that they had liked very much before, but the interesting science facts. Their much-talked-about topic also shifts from the force value of the Water Margin or Three Kingdoms characters to which movie has the most powerful robot and why." HU Tianhui, a teacher at Beishan Town Central School, said, "I think when they see Xiaozhi again, they will definitely recall this morning and the shock of technology."