“It’s (China) arguably ahead of U.S. in some areas behind in others, maybe neck and neck. But at the current trajectory, China will probably be ahead of U.S. in five years,” Lee said.
“China has more data, more users, more usage per data. And there’s very pro-AI government policies. So these things cause China to be ahead in AI implementation, despite not being ahead in AI research,” he added.
The government of the world’s second-largest economy emphasized the development of AI in its “Made in China 2025” plan — the country’s official blueprint for dominating various areas of technology in the future. And in 2017, China laid out plans which it hopes will make it the world leader in AI by 2030.
Both the U.S. and China have been aggressive in developing AI, and recent findings show a split between the U.S and China when it comes to patent filings.
A study from the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) published last week found that American firms IBM and Microsoft are the two organizations in the world with the most AI-related patent filings. But among research groups and universities, Chinese organizations hold 17 of the top 20 spots in terms of total patent filings.