Artificial Intelligence is creating waves worldwide with its innovative developments. Countries across the globe are trying to get their hands into the AI pie. Read about the top 5 countries that are leaving no stone unturned to reap the benefits of AI.
When it comes to the leading nation in AI, there is a close competition between the United States and China. Germany too is not far behind. As for India and Japan, they are taking important steps to prove supremacy in the field and use it for development.
5 Countries and their AI Motto
United States of America
There is no surprise to find the United States of America on the top list of countries making huge strides in Artificial Intelligence development.
President Donald Trump, on February 11, 2019, launched the American AI Initiative to promote research in AI as well as training in related fields. While the Executive Order that launched the initiative stresses on the leadership of the country in AI, it also emphasises on foreign collaborations.
The five principles that guide the American AI Initiative sound interesting. From developing technical standards and technological breakthroughs to providing skill development in AI and to even asserting the protection of American values of freedom, privacy and public trust in AI, the guidelines seem to focus on not just the present of AI but also the future.
The AI policy of the US is open to international collaboration in developing innovative AI technology. Still, they are also careful to protect their own knowledge.
The US government also launched a dedicated website AI.gov as a one-point resource on the AI strategy of the country. The site contains information on everything related to AI in the US, from providing help to governmental agencies to ensure sufficient investment for AI development, to clear blocks in the path of AI innovation practices and more.
Publishing papers on AI to ensure billions of dollars worth of investment in AI, the US is sparing no effort to consolidate their AI leadership. It also helps to have IT giants such as IBM, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, etc., which not only publish a large number of papers but also invest heavily in AI.
According to a study by datainnovation.org, the USA published 10,287 papers in 2017.
As per a research paper on cbinsights.com, in 2018 alone, venture capitalists invested a massive $9.3 billion into US startups in the AI field.
Hitherto known for its manufacturing sector, China is all set to be a tech-giant as well. The country is taking to AI as no other. When in 2017, China revealed an ambitious plan to become the leading AI power by 2030, many turned away with doubts.
Today, the picture is different. Experts are posing the question if China will overtake the US in Artificial Intelligence development. As of now, studies reveal that China publishes double the number of research papers in AI than the US.
China’s AI principles comprise three subdivisions – R & D, Use and Governance. The noteworthy factor is the focus on service to humanity and ensuring fundamental human rights including freedom, privacy and dignity. China’s policy guidelines also emphasise on shunning ‘malicious AI race.’
A breakthrough came in July 2017, when the State Council of China presented the NGAIDP or the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan. The objective was to connect different sectors such as government, healthcare, transportation and education with AI.
One of the impressive uses of AI is in China’s education sector to create intelligent education systems.
As per the Semantic Scholar Project, China has already overtaken the US in published AI papers. It is also estimated that soon, China will have the most-cited AI papers, at least 50% of papers more than the US.
As per the 2030 plan of China, the aim is to create a $1 trillion AI industry. Between 2012 and 2017, around 200 AI companies in China received around $4.5 billion worth of funding. China broke a record in AI investment when Alibaba invested $600 million in SenseTime, a facial-recognition startup based in China.
Leading in AI in Europe, Germany is taking every measure to enhance AI research and pave innovations in the field. The DFKI or the German Research Centre for AI in one of the worlds’ largest research institutes. With stakeholders such as Microsoft, SAP, Google and Daimler, the institute is checking all boxes in AI research.
The German National AI Strategy outlined in 2018, aims at two more important factors other than making Germany a global leader in AI development. The other two are ensuring the good of society as well as the integration of AI in the ethical, cultural, institutional and legal context.
Germany is also taking guidance and inspiration from other partners to build a robust AI development in the country. A significant example is the Cyber Valley, inspired by the Silicon Valley. It aims at bringing together world-class universities and corporate giants for the development of AI applications. Amazon is also set to establish a lab in Cyber Valley. They are looking at the commerce part of AI to build innovations in the business sector.
While Germany focuses on research in AI, between 2011 and 2015, Germany published 8000 papers, one of the highest numbers in the world. Germany also leads in the publication of papers in machine learning.
Germany has earmarked 3 billion euros for research and development in AI.
Digital India and other technology developments in India make the country one of the best suited for AI development. It also helps that India is seen as a favoured investment destination, and most tech giants of the world have their presence in India.
The policy think tank of India, the NITI Aayog, in its paper ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence #AIforall,’ presents unique brand #AIforall. The paper presents a three-pronged approach to facilitate a vibrant AI ecosystem in the country.
The policy also aims at collaborating with AI experts to employ AI in crucial areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, education, health, and smart cities. Defence is also a sector that the Indian government is looking at implementing AI technology.
India is also looking at AI to help in social and inclusive growth, a vital factor which could help in India’s overall development.
An important development in AI in India came about in 2019, when Google Research India was set up in Bangalore. The AI lab will focus on research, collaborate with research communities in the country. The plan is to apply the research in bringing about effective changes in different sectors including education, healthcare and agriculture.
India has so far published 12, 315 research publications, the third country in the world to have published so many papers.
As per NITI Aayog paper, the Indian government has allocated around ₹3,073 crore toward AI development in its ‘Digital India’ initiative.
Japan and technology go hand in hand, not just today, but since 1960. Electronics, automobiles, robotics, etc. has grown exceptionally in Japan. The country is renowned for its cutting-edge innovations. Hence, AI should have been more advanced in the country, feel experts. Still, the country is gearing up and fast becoming an AI hotspot of the world. The Japanese government set up the ‘Artificial Intelligence Technology Council,’ in 2016, to promote AI development. Apart from focusing on productivity, AI strategy of Japan also covers mobility and healthcare.
One of the central premises for AI in Japan is creating a human-centred society and lays down 9 principles namely, transparency, privacy, security, collaboration, safety, privacy, user assistance, accountability and controllability. The Japanese government has included AI in its ‘integrated innovation Strategy’ with emphasis on young AI researchers. As Japan looks at leveraging AI to its benefit, experts feel it could be a turning point for the country. With a low workforce and an ageing population, AI could help boost the Japanese economy through promoting automation in the manufacturing sector as well as office and administrative work.
AI has a bright future in Japan, as both private and public sector is making effective contributions. The Japanese automobile manufacturer Honda is also contributing to AI development of the country. The company has set an AI lab in Tokyo for AI research. West Japan Railway is using AI in an interesting way. With the help of the technology, the Railway is trying to identify intoxicated passengers at railway stations.
As per the Times Higher Education Report, Japan has published about 11,700 papers in AI.
In 2018, the Japanese government earmarked around $720 million for AI development with a proposal to increase the budget every year.
Though the means may be different, it is good to know that the above countries are looking at AI for the larger good of society. The AI policy of these countries emphasises on human rights, the right to privacy, freedom, etc. The only glitch is that only if they would join hands to share information and help each other for the betterment of the world instead of fierce competitiveness.