China-Pak coop building smart city through use of AI tech

ISLAMABAD   -   In the context of the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Chinese and Pakistani researchers are helping Pakistan build smarter and saf­er cities through the use of artificial intelli­gence (AI) technology.

At the beginning of year 2022, the CPInS Lab was officially established at Pakistan National University of Science and Technol­ogy (NUST), with joint efforts of NUST and Guangzhou Institute of Software Application Technology. 

At present, various researches are in pro­gress in an orderly manner, Gwadar Pro re­ported on Sunday.

“We have made great progress in areas such as UAV control systems and AI recogni­tion localisation. Our lab is starting the appli­cation of smart cities in Pakistan,” Dr Wu Jun, the Director of CPInS Lab, told Gwadar Pro.

“Through this platform, our mature re­search results could be deeply connected with local projects in Pakistan, providing smart city-related products and intelligent solutions according to local conditions. 

We are able to effectively implement core technologies and products such as smart street lights and smart videos to improve lo­cal urban governance ability.”

“Sci-tech cooperation is of great impor­tance to Pakistan’s socio-economic develop­ment,” Seemab Latif, Head of the Pakistani side of the lab and Associate Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Com­puter Science (SEECS) at the NUST, indicat­ed that China’s AI industry leads the world, as well as Pakistan’s scientific and techno­logical development has huge potential, thus by deepening bilateral cooperation, Pakistan can make great progress in the field of Sci-Tech, by which own the potential to become an AI development center in South Asia.

According to Latif, that the lab is using technology from China to develop smart city projects such as efficient traffic management systems and infrastructure monitoring sys­tems in Pakistan. 

At present, on the basis of local conditions, the license plate recognition system and in­telligent security system developed by the lab have begun to be piloted in Pakistan.

“More Pakistani residents will be able to experience the safety and convenience brought by the application of intelligent sys­tems.”

Up to now, the results of cooperation are mushrooming. Dr Wu told the reporter that considering that Pakistan is often threat­ened by floods, scientists from both sides pooled their wisdom to develop an vital re­sult “UAV-assisted edge framework for re­al-time disaster management,” which pro­vides a more scientific and effective solution for local flood fight.

Apart from bringing technology overseas, talent exchange and training could be said to be another key purpose of establishing the lab. Nowadays, the lab has recruited four out­standing postdoctoral fellows from Pakistan to work in Guangzhou for a long time, and will continue to recruit students in years to come. 

“We are working on a variety of exciting projects with Chinese counterparts, includ­ing activity detection, gait recognition, auto­matic license plate detection and real-time recognition, as well as waste management,” said lab researcher Sahar Ershad.

As an emerging economy, Pakistan’s in­frastructure is booming day by day. A large number of road cameras and other equip­ment have not been intellectualized yet, which shows that the CPInS Lab has a great potential in the future. 

Generally speaking, the field of artificial in­telligence in Pakistan has not yet formed an industry, but the country is never short on sci-tech talents. 

“Through further cooperation with China, Pakistan is fully capable of becoming an arti­ficial intelligence development hub in South Asia and the wider region,” Wu concluded, full of confidence.

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