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China could soon lead world in AI research, Elsevier report finds

China is set to surpass Europe in artificial intelligence research paper output within the next four year, a report released today by business analytics company Elsevier revealed.

According to the report, the US which is home to tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, has thrived in attracting the top artificial intelligence talent in recent years.

However, China started to overtake research from the United States in the total number of papers published in 2004, the report said.

Credit: Elsevier

“China aspires to lead globally in AI and is supported by ambitious national policies,” the report reads. “A net brain gain of AI researchers in China also suggests an attractive research environment.

“China’s AI focuses on computer vision and does not have a dedicated natural language processing and knowledge representation cluster, including speech recognition, possibly because this type of research in China is conducted by corporations that may not publish as many scientific articles.”

China not only has a growing body of research with companies like Baidu and Tencent, but the country is also home to some of the best-funded AI companies on Earth.

Earlier this week, for instance, news broke that Face++ parent company Megvii is reportedly seeking to raise $500 million in a new funding round at a valuation of approximately $3.5 billion.

Despite the total number of papers published by Chinese researchers though, the report also shows AI research papers coming from the country have not seen as much citation among peers, a trend that could suggest their reach would be more regional than global.

In terms of worldwide figures, the number of AI research papers published has increased by  12.9 per cent in the past five years.

At the third place in the output of AI research papers is India, behind the U.S. and China. Germany and Japan rank fifth and sixth worldwide in AI research paper output, while Iran, in ninth place, ranks alongside countries like France and Canada.

For more information about the report you can check Elsevier website here.


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