“China May Overtake the US with the Best AI Research in Just Two Years”

(Will Knight, Technology Review, 13 March 2019)

"“The number of influential AI research papers coming from China is increasing rapidly, a data analysis shows.”"

While the US tries to lead the world in AI, the White House cuts the funding for science. The detailed studies of Chinese AI research papers show that China is overtaking the US faster than expected. The Chinese government has made up some initiatives to lead the development of technology in some years. Some researches show that China produce many studies that mention AI terms as deep learning but is difficult to probe their quality. The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Ai2) study tries to solve this with its tool Semantic Scholar. With this tool, Ai2 uses AI to simplify the search and analysis of online research papers. It uses the number of citations that they have in other works to assess the quality of the Chinese research papers. This study shows that in 2019 China will overtake the US in the most-cited 50% research papers, in 2020 the top 10% and by 2021 the top 1%. The CTO of Ai2, Oren Etzioni, emphasizes that the US needs to increase AI research funding as their economy and security has benefited as research was performed in their universities and institutes. We have to be cautious about this study. The prominent Chinese AI investor, Kai-Fu Lee, suggests that the study can be overstating since he thinks that the overtake will not happen so soon. Lee highlights that the US takes most world’s influential scientific thinkers. Etzioni admits that everyone can benefit from openly published research, independently of the country of origin, but that this study should warn the US government.

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