China has been leading the charge of manufacturing industry for some time now, but now, it is taking over things that were supposedly the expertise of the west. The latest in that list would be artificial intelligence, to which China is now claiming full control as AI’s future may well be in the hand of China. Chinese government has a huge investment plan up its sleeve and it is likely that the investment will be made very soon. The investment may go up to 150 billion dollars and the scheme has surely startled the global technology community.
PRC’s state council has taken this visionary step for more than one reason. They want to see China as the global leader in the AI domain by the end of next decade. Surely, such immense funding has rattled everyone who is working with this technology yet is living outside China. Especially in US, where science and broadly, STEM has received fund cuts, much to the dismay of intellectual communities as well as business leaders and policymakers, this news will surely shake up a thing or two. However, there is an implicit concern for something else.
Needless to say, China does have ambitions to become the biggest global superpower and this investment could well be a firm step in that direction. AI can do wonders when military technology is concerned and the sudden aversion towards science from US administration could mean China seizing the opportunity to knock US off the perch of global superpower. True, that US researchers did come up with the best algorithms and updates in AI technology, but China has adapted and commercialized that technology so well that businesses have understood its insane potential before anyone else.
From applications to the fundamental
The immense funding has an interesting aspect. Now that China has sorted the application domain, it has turned its interest towards making fundamental contributions in this field. The investment is in that direction and apparently, by 2020, China will be as good as any other country in the AI application. However, by the completion of the next decade, AI should have the biggest possible economic impact as per Chinese government is concerned. Hence, fields like agriculture, manufacturing, finance etc. will have the biggest applications of AI in the years to come. Surely, an ambitious government, a dedicated team of scientists and healthy financial backup can posit China beyond everyone’s reach.