China Is Fast Catching Up to the US on Investment in Artificial Intelligence Research

China Is Fast Catching Up to the US on Investment in Artificial Intelligence Research

As the race to be the leader in the futuristic technologies among major economies is in full swing, China can be clearly seen catching up to its western competitor in terms of investments in AI research and development.  There is a multibillion fund that the government has created to invest into AI research and application. The US has not been this aggressive when it comes to its AI-related investments. The recent executive order by President Trump this year urged the country to do more in the field of AI but there has been no action on ground that can match the consolidated efforts by their Chinese counterparts.

China, on the other hand, is doing a lot more both in terms of research and actual application. There seems to be almost a national consensus on the need for the country to dominate in the field of AI. The government is fully backing the idea and has even been vocal about its ambitions. The Chinese government announced in 2017 that it was aiming to be the leader in the field of AI by 2030. There is another 30 billion USD worth of investment that the government’s recent venture capital fund will soon make into AI technology across state-owned enterprises. This new venture capital fund is in addition to the VC funds that are also funded by the state.

Furthermore, the city of Beijing has provided $2 billion towards an AI centric project. One Chinese province alone has committed $5billion for AI research, while the major port city of Tianjin has recently made an investment of $16 billion in local AI-based projects. The government, through its ambitious funding, will be investing across the AI landscape from academic research to AI projects and even startups based on AI.

The US government’s investments in AI are inconsequential in comparison to the scale of the Chinese government’s investments. US mostly made investments in the field of military technology which have been shrouded in mystery and nothing concrete can be said about them.

However, the private sector seems to be doing a lot more in the field of AI within the USA. The investments come from the huge multinationals such as IBM, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. However, the private sector in China is not far behind either. The Chinese private sector is under a greater influence of their government than their American counterparts. As a result, the government has urged four of the largest tech firms in China to introduce AI-enabled systems that will help with language processing and autonomous driving.