Will China lead the world in AI by 2030?

The country’s artificial-intelligence research is growing in quality, but the field still plays catch up to the United States in terms of high-impact papers, people and ethics.

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Aug 26, 2019
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China not only has the world’s largest population and looks set to become the largest economy — it also wants to lead the world when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI).

In 2017, the Communist Party of China set 2030 as the deadline for this ambitious AI goal, and, to get there, it laid out a bevy of milestones to reach by 2020. These include making significant contributions to fundamental research, being a favoured destination for the world’s brightest talents and having an AI industry that rivals global leaders in the field.

As this first deadline approaches, researchers note impressive leaps in the quality of China’s AI research. They also predict a shift in the nation’s ability to retain homegrown talent. That is partly because the government has implemented some successful retainment programmes and partly because worsening diplomatic and trade relations mean that the United States — its main rival when it comes to most things, including AI — has become a less-attractive destination.

By: Sarah O'Meara

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