“This week China announced what appeared to be a softening of its previously extremely hard line on global domination in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI). China is out investing, our strategizing and out researching America when it comes to Artificial Intelligence. They have a broad, well considered, holistic approach to the topic, which combines 3 areas.
- AI Strategy: China has a single, clearly stated, National vision around owning the AI market. They have aligned resources from University Educational programs in AI to allowing Alibaba, their biggest eCommerce concern, to run an entire city for them.
- New economic model: China ensures that the messy world of capitalism does not undermine the national interest. To this end, Government representatives sit on the boards of China’s major technology conglomerates, to ensure strategy in the interests of the company doesn’t waver too far from the interests of the country.
- Research and Development: Of course, Alibaba’s AI services are all cloud-based. Alibaba will spend slightly over $7bn USD in Research and Development projects, in the year ahead, making them third in the world behind Alphabet and Amazon but ahead of Ford, IBM and Facebook. They are only a part of the country’s $400+ bn spent since the turn of the century in R&D as a whole. The US still spends more on R&D but China is growing their investment dollars faster and will soon overtake.
- More data: China simply has more data than anyone else – and data is the most important part of any AI solution. The country contains 1.3bn people and a government which uses advanced surveillance techniques to follow its people. Nearly 25% of the world’s population lives in China and they generate a great deal of information about their behavior and movements.”