AI is bridge toward better U.S.-China ties

Updated 2018-05-05 12:43:10 Xinhua

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a particular bridge toward better relations between the United States and China, experts said at the 2018 California-China Business Summit, which was held in Los Angeles on Thursday.

"There are multiple bridges that are connecting and strengthening the partnership between China and U.S. of the bilateral agreement, and AI is one of them," Sid Voorakkara, deputy director for external affairs, California governor's office of business and economic development, told Xinhua at the summit.

While the ongoing trade disputes between are grabbing headlines, it is the tussle for dominance in the AI space that could shape the economic fortunes of the two world powers.

Home to tech behemoths like Google, Microsoft, IBM and Apple, the United States is where the bulk of AI innovation has taken place.

In the United States, AI industry and research are led by academia and the private industry. Individual projects are funded by military and paramilitary departments like DARPA and IARPA.

Overshadowed by the dazzling AI advances made by the United States so far, China has been silently but resolutely building an ecosystem that is feeding and fueling its ambition to become a world leader in AI by 2030.

"The two markets have distinctive advantages, in terms of AI," Winston Ma, managing partner and chief investment officer of China Silkroad Investment Capital (CSIC), said to Xinhua.

"Right now, what you see is, the U.S. is very strong on original innovation, and China side is much stronger in application and consumer experience. Both sides have accumulated very good base of users, data and infrastructure. From China side you can see the advantage on the data side because of the massive user group," said the author of "China's Mobile Economy: Opportunities in the Largest and Fastest Information Consumption Boom."

A State Council document, issued last year, resolved to position China as the world's pre-eminent AI practitioner in both research and application within the next 12 years.

The plan stated that the AI industry will serve as a new major economic growth engine and help improve people's lives by 2020, and the plan sets the target of China becoming a major center for AI innovation and leading the world in AI technology and applications by 2030.

By 2030, Chinese universities may be the core of the world's main AI innovation centers, capable of providing China with technical support and professionals, according to China's Ministry of Education.

"Over the past decade, China has become a leading global force in several areas of the digital economy," said "China's Digital Economy: a Leading Global Force," published by McKinsey & Co.'s think tank.

"In the future, the entire Chinese economy will be a digital economy," said Ma. "For the next billion users, those emerging market is more like China."

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