Artificial Intelligence with Warmth: Contributing RUC’s Wisdom to Rejuvenating the Country Through Science, Education, and Talents
(2022-11-08 11:11:25)

Recently, Gaoling School of Artificial Intelligence (GSAI), Renmin University of China (RUC) has been approved to establish “Next Generation Intelligent Search and Recommendation” Engineering Research Center under the Ministry of Education, helping China to catch up in the new generation of information technology, and to prepare China in the next generation of scientific and technological revolution.

Undergraduates from RUC are bringing “cyberpunk” into reality. They added more functions to the Xiaomi CyberDog, which is now able to react according to various situations with the help of AI models.

Combining science with culture and exploring innovative fields. Who can do it? Here comes “WenLan”, a large-scale Chinese multimodal pre-training model developed by Gaoling School of Artificial Intelligence, Renmin University of China.

Promising school and discipline

As an emerging discipline, Artificial Intelligence in RUC has made remarkable strides. Under the leadership of Wen Jirong, Executive Dean of GSAI, “WenLan” is a great scientific achievement, significant to the world’s sci-tech frontiers and to China’s major strategic needs. With strong scientific research ability, RUC’s Computer and Artificial Intelligence have been increasingly influential around the world. According to CSRankings released in October 2022, RUC ranked Top 10 in Artificial Intelligence and ranked first in Internet and Information Retrieval.

Research and teaching of database in China, which is critical to our country’s development, originated from the Department of Economic Information Management of RUC established in 1978, which was known as “the pioneer in Information”. Since 2013, RUC has made profound achievements in research on AI. In 2019, based on more than 40 years of exploration and accumulation, RUC established Gaoling School of Artificial Intelligence in response to the strategic requirements of the new era.

Educate with warmth

“We hope to cultivate students that dedicate themselves to pursuing scientific progress and make contributions to humanity.” said Wen.

Since its establishment three years ago, GSAI has attracted 23 excellent AI advisors: Pan Yunhe, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, who serves as Director of the Academic Committee; Dou Zhicheng, Academic Vice President, an expert in Information Retrieval; Song Ruihua, former Chief Scientist of Xiaoice Team at Microsoft Software Technology Center; Wei Zhewei, who became Professor at the age of 31; and etc. Eight of them have been selected for the National Talent Program.

“I love being with students and I want to do something for my country,” said Wen when talking about his original aspiration. Just like Wen, a group of outstanding young scientists, such as Qi Qi from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hongteng Xu from Duke University, have joined RUC as well. They carry forward the spirit of scientist, and serve the country after studying abroad.

Dou Zhicheng often encourages his colleagues, “Teachers’ first priority is to teach, to impart knowledge and educate students.” He has won the titles of “Excellent Graduation Thesis Instructor of Beijing in 2019” and “Teaching Pacesetter Candidate of RUC in 2022”. The three students under his guidance, Zhengbao Jiang (2017), Jiongnan Liu (2020) and Jing Yao (2021), have been awarded “Wu Yuzhang Scholarship” (only 10 students per year), the highest honor for students in RUC. Just like Professor Dou, many teachers at GSAI are rigorous and responsible, setting an example for students. Further, GSAI is also home to young teachers who are very popular among students. Teachers such as As Liu Yong and Su Bing can explain abstract theoretical problems vividly, helping students to understand easily.

Apart from being experts at doing scientific research and teaching, teachers also get along with students very well. On one occasion, a student accidentally fractured. Song immediately brought him a wheelchair and crutches, and took him to several checkups, which was quite heartwarming and touching.



Good advisors can cultivate excellent students, and GSAI does a good job in the postgraduate training. In addition to honorary awards like “Wu Yuzhang Scholarship” and “Ten Excellent Graduates of RUC”, the four outstanding students at GSAI have also won “Baidu Scholarship” (only 10 people per year worldwide), “Microsoft Research Asia Fellowship” (only 12 people per year in the Asia-Pacific region), and “ByteDance Scholarship” (10 people per year nationwide). Hanzhi Wang, a PhD student winning both Baidu Scholarship and Microsoft Research Asia Fellowship, is grateful to her advisor Wei Zhewei for his persuasive, rigorous and clear teaching. Wei broke down research tasks into problems interlocked with moderate difficulty, so that students would be more motivated and could enjoy the process of solving puzzles step by step.




Technology and Humanities collide, and here comes “warm” scientific research.

This June, a paper titled “Towards Artificial General Intelligence via a Multimodal Foundation Model” was published on Nature’s portfolio journal Nature Communications, which is the first time in AI industry that (pure) multimodal work has been published on Nature’s portfolio journal.

The research was conducted by the “WenLan” Team led by Wen. Through “observing” the mechanism of human brain’s processing of multimodal information, the team put forward hypotheses about weak semantic correlation between text and image, and endowed the foundation model with visualization and generalization power, thus helping AI Apps address various cognitive tasks quickly and effectively. “It’s a demonstration of significant progress in the field of artificial general intelligence via a multimodal foundation model,” Zhiwu Lu, a professor at GSAI, introduced.

The work has been applied in enterprises like Kuaishou, Huawei and OPPO, with applications such as “barrier-free images”, “video clips”, and “text’s transformation into traditional Chinese painting” and so on. “The best technology is the technology that can bring happiness to people, which is a practice of our ‘warm artificial intelligence’,” said Wen.



The team has established a partnership with organizations like the Beijing Foundation for Disabled Persons. From understanding the needs of the blind to providing free equipment and guidance for them, students in the laboratory make great efforts. Personal strength may be insignificant, but we remain true to our original aspiration to benefit people and society.



Students are debugging devices and taking photos with visually impaired people.

“Warm artificial intelligence” is not only related to scientific research, but also related to talent cultivation and curriculum provision. The curriculum at GSAI is world-class. Moreover, “Artificial Intelligence and Python Programming” co-instructed by several teachers is available for undergraduates.

It should be noted that, GSAI makes full use of Humanities and Social Sciences of RUC to make overall arrangements in “AI+”. The construction of “Data and Tool Platform for Interdisciplinary Studies of RUC” satisfies the technical needs of teachers in Humanities and Social Sciences. What’s more, GSAI also develops a series of courses including “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence of New Liberal Arts”, “Computational Thinking and Methods of New Liberal Arts”, contributing to “New Liberal Arts” talent cultivation.

GSAI explores artificial intelligence with warmth

AI scientists together with teachers and students at GSAI are facilitating scientific research via “curiosity+humanistic care”. Further, they attach great importance to “AI+X” research in order to cultivate interdisciplinary AI talents with humanistic care.

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