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£ 5.640 Million

China Bolts ahead of US in AI Arms Race

China overtook the US as the world’s first destination for money invested  in Artificial Intelligence, according to a CB Insight report.

In 2017, China secured 48 percent of the $15.2 billion (£10.9 billion) equity deals going to AI startups worldwide, while the United States only raked in 38 percent.

Although Washington boasts a higher number of AI startups, they are attracting lower sums than their Chinese counterparts. Even if Chinese AI companies only accounted for 9 percent of global AI deals in 2017, the ones that snapped up funding managed to bag much more striking amounts. Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 10.26.48

The difference in performance seems to be at least partly driven by how much each country’s  government is interested in bolstering the AI sector. The US are not particularly supportive of their ecosystem, whereas China is throwing its full weight behind an ambitious AI effort. China’s advances in  AI research have already allowed it to pull ahead of the US in terms of AI-related patents.

“The Chinese government is promoting a futuristic artificial intelligence plan. It encompasses everything from smart agriculture and intelligent logistics to military applications and new employment opportunities growing out of AI,” the report reads.

“Two prominent technologies fueling China’s AI growth are facial recognition and AI chips. The former advances the government’s ambitious country-wide surveillance plans, while the latter is a direct challenge to US-made chips.”

Among other key AI trends  CB Insight highlighted in its report are the increasing prominence of AI for defence purposes, growing automation of white collar jobs, and the emerging challenge of making AI-powered assistants more multilingual.

Image via CB Insights

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