Our Expert Voices conversation on artificial intelligence.

The genius that finally creates general artificial intelligence will be sparked by four things. China has the advantage or parity in all four.

  1. Research & talent. China is producing more AI papers than any other country. While their impact trails both the U.S. and U.K., that gap may close.
  2. Data and platforms: China has several world-leading consumer internet platforms, such as WeChat, used by about a billion people. This creates a world-class set of data unburdened by even lax American views of privacy, let alone Europe's more stringent take.
  3. Regulation: As we approach more powerful AI systems, governments will try to regulate things like privacy and bias. Chinese researchers may face a less meticulous environment: It was a more laissez-faire approach to regulation that helped China to bring the first commercial gene therapy product to market in 2003.
  4. Culture: More than two-thirds of Chinese believe AI will have a positive impact on society and on themselves. Less than half of Americans do.

Bottom line: If a single country is going to come out ahead in the artificial intelligence race, it is likely to be China.

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Mike Allen, author of AM
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