Nearly a year ago, China’s top AI scientists gathered in Suzhou for the annual Wu Wenjun AI Science and Technology Award ceremony.

Despite that fact that they had every reason to feel good about China’s accomplishments in AI, the mood was rather gloomy.

More than two years after the release of the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan (AIDP), China’s top AI experts worry that Beijing’s AI push will not live up to the hype.

The concern is not just that China might be in for an “AI winter”—a cyclic downturn in AI funding and interest due to overly zealous expectations. It’s also that for all China’s strides in AI, from multi-billion dollar unicorns to a glitzy state plan, it still lacks a solid, independent base in the field’s foundational technologies.

From CNBC International:

Imagine skipping hotel check-in and walking straight to your room with a scan of your face. This could soon become a reality at many hotels in China and around the world. CNBC’s Uptin Saiidi experiences what the hotel of the future may look like and Alibaba’s ambitious plans for the sector.

You can imagine the impact this will have on jobs in the hospitality industry.

Here’s an interesting look at “Data Labelers” and how cheap human labor could once again be China’s competitive advantage.

In order to avoid plowing into other cars or making illegal lane changes, they need a lot of help. In China, that help is increasingly coming from rooms full of college students. Li Zhenwei is a data labeler. His job, which didn’t even exist a few years ago, involves sitting at a computer, clicking frame-by-frame through endless hours of dashcam footage, and drawing lines over each photo to help the computer recognize lane markers.

Shenzhen may well be the most fascinating city in the world. It makes the majority of our electronics. It clones the best technology Silicon Valley has to offer with ease. And, lately, Shenzhen buzzes with new ideas and an unrivaled energy that ensure it will play a major role in shaping our collective futures.

In part three of the documentary series Hello World Shenzhen [Part 1 | Part 2], Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ashlee Vance heads out into a city where you can’t use cash or credit cards, only your smartphone, where AI facial-recognition software instantly spots and tickets jaywalkers, and where at least one factory barely needs people.

This is the society that China’s government and leading tech companies are racing to make a reality, with little time to question which advancements are net positives for the rest of us.