The United States currently leads this technology worldwide, but the truth is that China could surpass the American giant in the coming years, due to the ambitious national strategy promoted by the Government of the Asian country, in collaboration.
The battle between the great world powers to become a benchmark in the development of Artificial Intelligence, and responsible for many experts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is already underway. Most studies point to the United States as the world leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Ricardo Moya, an expert in Artificial Intelligence from the IMF Academic Institution, predicts that the race to dominate this technology in the world could be won by China in the coming years. He assures, in this sense, that when talking about domination or leadership of AI, two perspectives must be taken into account: the economic and the scientific. And the fact is that, although all countries have economic leadership as their objective, this cannot happen without a good position in the scientific field.
“China is the country that has contributed the most scientific publications in recent years, followed by Europe and the United States. However, it is the American publications that have the greatest impact (scientific quality). In terms of AI-related patents, the United States is the leader, well ahead of China, which in 2018 ranked eighth,” says Moya. Now, if economic leadership is analyzed, although it seems obvious to say that the United States is the leader in this area because it has companies like IBM, Microsoft and Google, world leaders in this technology, the Artificial Intelligence Index of Stanford University . he claims that the United States and China are practically on a par, according to economic and R&D indicators.
According to The Global AI Index promoted by Tortoise Media, an independent media outlet, the leadership of the United States focuses on areas such as talent, infrastructure, research and business investments. For its part, China is a leader in the development of this technology and it should be noted, as Moya points out, that it also has a differential point, which is the government’s strategy, much more advanced than that of the United States. And it is precisely this point that can make China the world leader in AI in the near future, since the Chinese government is ambitiously betting on this technology with the most advanced companies in the Asian country such as Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, the latter with the world’s largest data ecosystem built around its WeChat app, offering messaging, social networking, online payments and other digital functionalities.
Ultimately, according to Ricardo Moya, the current leadership of the United States in the field of artificial intelligence is threatened by China, which could reasonably overcome it soon. However, this sorpasso can occur under more than questionable conditions. “The United States, together with Europe, are focused on the sustainable development of AI, taking into account aspects such as ethics, people’s privacy, sustainability, inclusion, etc., not being the case of China, which is focused on growth without taking these issues into account. Take into account, as is happening with Tencent’s WeChat application, which, with billions of active users per month, is used by the Chinese government as a means of surveillance and espionage of its citizens, which is an unethical use of information. IA with these data”, remarks the professor of the Academic Institution of the IMF.
And Spain? According to Ricardo Moya and following the aforementioned index, our country is usually around the 20th position worldwide, although other rankings place it in the eleventh position, standing out in the field of government strategy. One of the most outstanding data is that Spain has a Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence that reports directly to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation. In this sense, at the end of last year the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (ENIA) was presented, announcing a public investment of 600 million euros for the 2021-2023 period, trusting that this investment will mobilize around 3,300 million. of private investment.
Regarding the scientific approach, it should be noted that Spain is quite well positioned in terms of the quality of the production of scientific content, mainly created in universities, although more and more researchers denounce the low transfer of knowledge that exists between universities. universities and companies, a point that should be strengthened to increase the transfer of this research in the Spanish business fabric.