A new report has revealed that China is gaining ground on the U.S. in artificial intelligence (AI) research.
Seattle-based Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence found that China has seen a rise in the number of its AI research papers that are among the top 10 percent most cited, which shows the highest-impact research.
While around 47 percent of those papers came from the U.S. in 1982, only 29 percent originate from the states now. China’s share, however, has risen to more than 26 percent.
And the Artificial Intelligence Index, which tracks AI data, reported last year that China was significantly ahead of the U.S. in the number of papers published each year.
“When you look at the cream of the crop, the top 10 percent and even the top 1 percent most-cited papers, I was surprised to see how close they are to us,” said Oren Etzioni, the head of the Allen Institute, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Just projecting the line, you see in 2020 they’ll surpass us in the top-10 percent papers and it looks like in 2022 or 2023 they’ll surpass us in the top 1 percent.”
In fact, as China is funding more AI development, the U.S. government led by President Trump is pulling back. Beijing even unveiled plans in 2017 to lead the world in AI by 2030, with plans to use the technology to predict crimes, lend money, track people in the country, help with traffic snarls and censor the internet, among other things.
But Michael Kratsios, the deputy assistant to Trump for Technology Policy, vows that the country's system is superior for driving new technologies like AI, and that the U.S. is prioritizing its research for the long-term.
And Paul Dabbar, the Department of Energy’s undersecretary for science, pointed to America's advantage in being the home of many scientific institutions, government programs and tech companies.
“With the combination of all that, clearly we’re in an excellent position,” he said.