Scan the headlines and it’s easy to believe that China is already the world’s leading power in artificial intelligence (AI). Facial recognition is helping police catch criminals, banks are automating entire branches and the military is planning autonomous submarines that can launch “suicide attacks.”
These developments are impressive. They point to China having an “AI-first” society — and they show how far behind the rest of the world is. But looking at AI this way paints a skewed picture. The way AI is taking off in China (or the number of AI-patents China has), isn’t as important as this: who is using Chinese AI? For China to take the AI-crown from the US, China must supply the world with its AI.
"Who is using Chinese AI? For China to take the AI-crown from the US, China must supply the world with AI."
A few years ago, Chinese AI was nonexistent outside of China. But in the past few years, things have begun to change. Chinese AI has emerged in South America, Asia and Africa. And this points to a new phase of the AI-competition beginning.
South America: In November, 2016, Ecuador introduced a policing system called “ECU911” to monitor its population. It was built by “China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation (CEIEC),” a state-owned firm. ECU911 uses advanced cameras and facial recognition technology supplied by China. Through the system, crime has dropped 24%.
Asia: In September, 2017, Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, deployed an intelligent traffic-monitoring system, suppled by a Chinese firm called "Hikvision." In January…