China is set to become the world leader in AI research, according to a ground-breaking study.
Tech site VentureBeat had this to say:
China will overtake Europe in artificial intelligence research paper output within the next four years if current trends continue, according to a report released today by business analytics company Elsevier.
The report found that the U.S., home to tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, has succeeded in attracting the top talent in artificial intelligence. It also shows that research in the U.S. is shifting from academic settings to research operations within large tech companies.
“…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.”
The study goes on to describe how AI research is booming across China.
Correspondingly, Benzinga added:
The report shows that, globally, AI research has accelerated, growing by more than 12 percent annually in the past five years (2013-2017), comparing to less than 5 percent for the previous 5 years (2008-2012). By contrast, research output overall, across all subject areas globally, has grown by 0.8 percent annually over the past five years (2013-2017).
The Elsevier analysis finds that industry in the United States attracts the most AI talent from both local- and international-academia. In Europe there’s a stronger move of academic talent moving to non-European industry.
Over the last three years, the data shows Chinese academia attracting more AI talent than it is losing, confirming that the country is on track to establish a leading position in AI research. Having overtaken the United States in AI research output in 2004, China is set to overtake Europe and become the biggest source of AI research globally in the next four years, if the pace of current trends continues.
The news is concerning given Google’s Project Dragonfly, the prototype censored search engine custom made for China.
According to The Intercept:
A prototype for the censored search engine was designed to blacklist broad categories of information about human rights, democracy, and peaceful protest. It would link Chinese users’ searches to their personal cellphone number and store people’s search records inside the data centers of a Chinese company in Beijing or Shanghai, which would be accessible to China’s authoritarian Communist Party government.
If the plan proceeds, “there is a real risk that Google would directly assist the Chinese government in arresting or imprisoning people simply for expressing their views online, making the company complicit in human rights violations,” the human rights groups wrote in a letter that will be sent to Google’s leadership on Tuesday.