Goldman Sachs: China is catching up to the U.S. in AI

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The pace of AI innovation in China is putting it on track to catch up to the US, according to a report from Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment firm, highlights China’s resources and ambitious plans for an intelligent economy based on AI.

The report is titled “China’s Rise in Artificial Intelligence” and says both companies and the Chinese government are putting their weight behind AI. In fact, back in July, the Chinese government announced it will increase government spending on core AI programs to $22 billion in the next few years, with plans to spend nearly $60 billion per year by 2025.

“We believe AI technology will become a priority on the government’s agenda, and we expect further national/regional policy and funding support on AI to follow,” the bank said.

Chinese giant Baidu has made a name for itself as one of the leaders in AI development. The company is often seen as the Chinese equivalent to Google, a company which is seen to be leading AI development in the West.

Guidelines on developing AI

China’s State Council has issued guidelines on developing AI in China and set the goal to become a global innovation center by 2030. The output value of AI is expected to surpass 1 trillion yuan ($147.80 billion)

AI requires vast amounts of data, and this is an area where China thrives due to its large population. The country is also known for its ‘Great Firewall’ and control over what content is able to be accessed, and from what providers.

“China understandably generates (about) 13 percent of the digital information globally. By 2020, we expect this to grow to around 20 percent to 25 percent as China’s economy emerges as the world’s largest,” Goldman Sachs predicts.

The firm also predicts China will generate around 9 to 10 zetabytes (about 1 trillion gigabytes) of data.

In order to gain the full value of AI, Goldman Sachs has identified four areas needed: talent, data, infrastructure, and computing power. Goldman believes China meets these criteria and has a ripe opportunity to take a lead in AI.

Do you think China will overtake the US in AI development? Let us know in the comments.

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