China vs America: the Race for Artificial Intelligence

For the longest time, countries such as the US and those in Europe have dominated the world of artificial intelligence. It is said that these countries have pioneered and established artificial intelligence with the invention of the software and chips being used in today’s technology-reliant world. These countries have become so well-known for their technological advancements that people interested in studying robotics and other AI-related courses would usually go above and beyond just to go to these countries. Today, however, more and more people are going to China.

It has come as both a surprise and concern to many that China has been on a fast track to becoming a major player in artificial intelligence. Over the past years, China has invested heavily in this industry. It was reported recently that the country will be focusing even more on artificial intelligence, predicting that it will be the industry of the future. Because of this, China has been increasing its efforts to cultivate AI into its culture.

The Chinese government has recently teamed up with Baidu, the country’s top search engine, to create a new national laboratory dedicated to the country’s continuous improvement in various AI technologies such as speech and facial recognition. The laboratory is also said to be run by academics who had previously worked on Chinese military technology. Also, several Chinese tech companies reportedly invested in major equipment to help them with their research and development.

Most recently, China has laid out its national Artificial Intelligence Plan until the year 2030 to serve as a roadmap towards dominating in the field. Chinese tech companies have also put their resources into the country’s AI program to compete with its Western counterparts in a race for AI. The multibillion-dollar plan has already been drafted and is set to be released to the public soon. For now, what we do know is that the plan is set to address four key points: the development of AI capability, the applications of AI technologies in education, healthcare, and security, the policies on the risks of AI, and international cooperation and collaboration.

China’s growing success in the AI industry has led experts to believe that China is already just a step behind the US. Calling it a possible threat to national security, Senator John Cornyn stood before the Council on Foreign Relations at Washington DC and expressed his concerns over the issue. He believes that China’s technological advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence could someday be used as weapons against the US in the event of a military conflict. He also went as far as suggesting to come up with legislation that would limit Chinese investments in US tech companies. He also cited that several Trump administration officials are already considering putting this into motion in fear of China’s impending success in AI. Critics, however, have stated that instead of trying to slow down China’s growth, maybe the government should be focusing on accelerating the country’s own AI program.

Trump’s win as President of the United States has also had a big impact on the country’s AI sector. His administration is cutting back on its budget just as China is spending more. This timing of events could certainly have a critical and lasting impact on both countries’ standing on artificial intelligence. Ultimately, it could also have a lasting impact on China-US relations.

Throughout history, the US and China have had a complicated relationship, as there are both cooperation and friction between them. Economically speaking, both have strong economies that rely heavily on each other. On the other hand, there is also a sense of rivalry between them. On top of those, there are also issues such as the Nanjing massacre, trade disputes, intellectual property rights, and human rights.

China and the US are definitely in a tight race when it comes to AI technologies. Both countries have to do what they can in order to keep up with each other. One thing for sure is that there is a bright and exciting future for AI, and everyone is waiting for what these power players have in store for the world.