Center for Data Innovation on AI: China making big moves to catch up with the US

August 23, 2019 | Artificial Intelligence

Though the US is currently the world leader in artificial intelligence technology, China is leaving no stone unturned to narrow the gap

A study from the Center for Data Innovation showed the US was far ahead of China and the EU in at least four of six parameters considered by the analysis.

These categories were talent, research, development, adoption, data, and hardware.

How the US, China, and the EU stack up in the analysis

When the researchers ranked the three on a 100-point metric within the six categories, the respective scores were:

  1. US – 44.2
  2. China – 32.3
  3. EU – 23.5

The study said it was apparent that the three economies were the top contenders for global leadership in AI.

Tech giants catapult the US into pole position

According to the study, the US was at the forefront of the latest wave of digital innovation primarily with the help of advances made by tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, and Microsoft.

Among the other factors that helped the US achieve dominance was the rich funding available to its AI startups. Secondly, the US already had the lead in the hardware that supports AI, such as computer chips and semiconductors. Thirdly, research papers on AI from the US are of the highest quality. Lastly, the US enjoyed elite talent in the field of AI.

Center for Data Innovation talks China’s efforts

China is stepping up its efforts to challenge the leadership of the US, however.

In July 2017 the State Council of China formulated a plan for the country to become the leading AI power by 2030 and to create a domestic AI industry worth about $150 billion in the next few years.

The Center’s research analyst and lead author of the study commented on the report.

“The United States is leading in AI today, but it should not rest on its laurels,” Michael McLaughlin said. “To maintain its lead, the United States should focus on policies that grow its domestic talent base, enable foreign AI talent to immigrate, and increase incentives for research and development.”

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