The US is the undisputed leader in the production of artificial intelligence (AI), while China is the fastest-growing nation expected to overtake the US on its current trajectory in five to ten years, according to Tortoise Intelligence’s Global AI Index released this week.
Based on their AI capabilities, the ranking, which ranks 54 countries, assessed seven key indicators over 12 months: expertise, technology, operating environment, science, growth, policy strategy, and business ventures.
The U.S. is leading with a significant margin on most key metrics. It received a score of 100, almost twice as high as second-placed China with 58.3, thanks to the importance of its research, skills and private funding. Rated 3rd, 4th, and 5th in the USA, Canada, and Germany respectively.
In terms of infrastructure, Hong Kong ranked 25th, but less well in terms of the operating environment. Singapore ranked 7th in terms of talent, but in terms of the operating environment, it rated less well.
AI has become a new battlefield for countries that are battling for future economic influence and power as a technology-oriented development that has the potential to transform multiple industries from finance to transport.
Globally, the number of AI firms has tripled in four years, with nearly 20,000 developing technologies ranging from self-driving cars to disease-detecting medical algorithms, and since 2015, more than 10,000 AI companies have been formed receiving some US$ 37 billion in private funding, Tortoise Intelligence said.
Over the last three years, thousands of new developers have been drawn into AI ventures worldwide as competition for the software is increasing. The report revealed that the number of Chinese contributors to AI software has grown from 150 per year in 2015 to 13,000 per year today on Github, the world’s largest open-source development platform. The US contributions rose from 7,000 to 42,000.
Over the next decade, policymakers have publicly committed more than US$ 35 billion to spend on AI growth, with China alone pledging US$ 22 billion, according to the study.
To become a global leader in AI by 2030, China is providing substantial resources to support its national AI plan.