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Working with Pepper at Inserm, the French scientific institute, in Bron. Photo: BSIP/UIG/Getty Images

The U.S. and China are locked in a determined race to dominate the future of artificial intelligence. But, with hundreds of billions of dollars and geopolitical supremacy at stake, Europe is moving to block any untrammeled triumph by the two.

What's happening: Experts call AI a transformative technology in the same league as electricity, and say the two big great powers — the U.S. and China — are positioned to dominate it as it creeps into consumer, business and military use. But in recent weeks, the U.K. and EU have announced an explicit aim to grab part of the commanding heights of AI.

  • "We are determined to have a world-leading place in AI in the decades to come," Matthew Hancock, Digital Secretary with the U.K. government, tells Axios.
  • In the U.K. on April 26, Hancock announced the "Artificial Intelligence Sector Deal," a $1.3 billion fund for AI research and the graduation of 1,000 Ph.D. researchers in AI.
  • The day before, the EU announced $1.8 billion in AI research funding under its "Horizon 2020" program for the coming two years.
  • The U.K. has also sought a place in the race to own the new electric car sector with funding for the Faraday Institute. "We are not going to be the only world leader" in AI, Hancock said, "but we are determined to be at the table."

The bottom line: With the announcements, the U.K. and the EU resemble the state-level effort mounted by Beijing with its Made in China 2025 program to own the technologies of the future. The U.S. effort in AI is still dispersed among companies and universities — in particular Google — and American experts have said the absence of state-level organization could leave the U.S. behind China.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.

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