Government efforts mount in China and U.S. to lead lucrative AI industry
As the global artificial intelligence industry rapidly grows, the U.S. continues to be in danger of ceding global leadership to China.
A report from PwC suggests that could contribute $15.7 trillion to global GDP by 2030, after adding an estimated $2 trillion last year, Forbes reports.
The healthcare, automotive and financial services industries have been the fastest to adopt AI technology, but industries like manufacturing and mining have fallen behind, according to the report.
An executive order recently issued by the White House directs federal agencies to invest in AI and tasks NIST with creating standards for the technology’s reliability and interoperability. An article in The Conversation by Babson College Professor of Information Technology and Management Thomas H. Davenport, however, suggests that may not be enough for the U.S. to keep up with China’s accelerating pace of AI research.
Davenport says that Chinese investments in AI include more than $30 billion from a state-backed venture capital fund plans to invest, $5 billion budgeted by a single Chinese province, $2 billion from the city of Beijing, and $16 billion from major port Tianjin. These efforts dwarf their American equivalents, Davenport says, which are mostly related to the defense industry efforts such as the $2 billion commitment recently announced by DARPA.
Chinese AI startups took more than their U.S. counterparts for the first time in 2017, according to ABI Research.
In number of AI engineers, the U.S. still holds an advantage, according to data from LinkedIn, but the gap is closing, and China has an advantage in ease of data acquisition, according to the article. The U.S. has a more collaborative environment for technology to develop in, but initiatives like the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms in Canada could be adopted elsewhere to foster innovation.