Who will win the battle for the global dominance of Artificial Intelligence?

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 for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is already underway. Most studies point to the United States being the world leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Ricardo Moya, an expert in Artificial Intelligence at 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 it is that, although all countries have economic leadership as their objective, this cannot occur 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 United States publications that have the greatest impact (scientific quality). Regarding patents related to AI The United States is the leader, well ahead of China, which in 2018 ranked eighth, “says Moya. Now, if the economic leadership is analyzed, although it seems obvious to say that the United States is the one who leads this area because it has companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Google, world leaders in this technology, the University’s Artificial Intelligence Index Stanford states that the United States and China are practically on par, according to economic and R&D indicators.

According to The Global AI Index promoted by Tortoise Media, an independent medium, the leadership of the United States focuses on areas such as talent, infrastructure, research and business investments. Meanwhile, China is a leader in the development of this technology and it should be highlighted, as Moya highlights, that it also has a differential point, which is the government 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 having the most important data ecosystem in the world built around its WeChat application, which offers messaging services, social networks, 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 overtake it soon. However, this sorpasso can occur under more than questionable conditions. “The United States, together with Europe, are focused on a sustainable AI development, taking into account aspects such as ethics, people’s privacy, sustainability, inclusion, etc., not being the case in China, which is focused growth without taking these issues 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 that supposes an unethical use of the AI ​​with this data “, remarks the professor of IMF Academic Institution.

And Spain? According to Ricardo Moya and following the index cited above, our country is usually around 20th place worldwide, although other rankings place it in the eleventh position, standing out in the field of government strategy. One of the most outstanding facts is that Spain has a State Secretariat for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence that depends directly on the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation. In this regard, at the end of last year, the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (ENIA) was presented, announcing a public investment of 600 million euros for the period 2021-2023, 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 production of scientific content, mainly created in universities, although more and more researchers are denouncing the low transfer of knowledge that exists between universities and companies, a point that should be promoted in order to increase the transfer of these investigations in the Spanish business fabric.

Regarding the position that Spain occupies compared to the rest of the countries of the European Union, it should be noted that it is in the upper-middle part of the table. Countries like Germany, France, Italy or Finland are better positioned than Spain in terms of AI.

 

Most widespread applications

Virtual assistants, machine learning (Machine Learning and Deep Learning), pattern recognition and robotics are some of the most widespread applications within AI. We can see this in our day to day when, for example, we use social networks, make online purchases or consume content online, where these platforms offer personalized content based on our tastes, learned by AI algorithms.

Regarding whether AI has the ability to solve major challenges such as climate change, poverty or Covid, the answer is that by itself it does not have that ability, but it does have the ability to help humans mitigate these problems. . “We have to see AI as a very powerful set of tools capable of solving very complex problems or challenges and these challenges can have very diverse purposes, from very good to very harmful. One of the applications of AI that is not It tends to talk a lot about solving optimization problems and precisely pollution, poverty or Covid management could be improved by applying this type of technique, “says Moya.

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