Space Race 2.0, The Global Battle for AI Superpowerdom

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Image via South China Morning Post

In recent years, China has emerged as a major contender in the global race to use AI to spur economic progress. If developing AI technology is the 21st century’s answer to the space race, then China is the player who has a laser focus on becoming the world’s preeminent AI superpower. Automating workplaces with AI could add 0.8 to 1.4 percentage points to GDP growth annually, and that’s just the beginning of how economically and socially impactful the all-encompassing AI revolution could be for China, and the world.

According to Goldman Sachs, there are four key areas where development is needed to create value in AI: talent, data, infrastructure, and computing power. China already has the first three, and is poised to maximize its potential in computer power. In the realm of data generation China has a huge advantage. With a vast and largely m-internet savvy population and a high degree of Internet penetration throughout the country, China is expected to produce 20-25% of global digital information by 2020, up from its current 13%. Many say that data is the “lifeblood” of AI, and with its massive volume of data, along with superior lines of coding and its large pool of talent, China is nicely positioned to adroitly leverage its data stores to develop and advance its AI capabilities.

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