The reasons why China will win the Artificial Intelligence race

The reasons why China will win the Artificial Intelligence race

The nerve center of the Chinese Artificial Intelligence (AI) movement is in the Zhongguancum neighborhood of Beijing, the equivalent of California’s Silicon Valley.

Here we are investing heavily in the development of AI and its applications in every imaginable field, and it is not done out of scientific interest or utopian romanticism, not even with the aim of improving helping our fellow citizens: it is done to earn money , flee from the extreme poverty to which they were condemned until recently, and win the battle.

Chinese Silicon Valley

When AlphaGo scored its first major win in March 2016, during a five-game series against legendary Korean gamer Lee Sedol , of which he won four, 280 million Chinese viewers were holding their breath, even as the game progressed rapidly. those moments unnoticed by the average American viewer.

China, then, began its fever for Artificial Intelligence, as Kai-Fu Lee explains in his book Superpowers of Artificial Intelligence :

Less than two months after Ke Jie left the last game with AlphaGo, the Chinese central government drew up an ambitious plan to develop artificial intelligence capabilities. He called for increased funding, political support, and national coordination for the advancement of AI. He established clear benchmarks to measure progress between 2020 and 2025, and envisioned that by 2030 China would become the center of global innovation in artificial intelligence.

For the first time, in 2017, China surpassed the United States in AI investment , investing record sums that accounted for 48 percent of all venture capital funding in AI worldwide .

China’s natural advantages in AI are well documented . Compared to the United States, it has a huge population (1.4 billion vs. 400 million), offering a wealth of data and opportunities for businesses to scale quickly. Its industry is also backed by a central government (as opposed to the White House), and the country’s more flexible approach to digital regulations allows companies to experiment more freely.

Chinese students, too, have contracted AI fever, enrolling in advanced degree programs and attending live videoconferences of international researchers on their smartphones. Startup founders frantically pivot, reengineer, or simply rebrand their companies to ride the wave of AI.