AI is present in daily life, from simpler features such as Siri and Alexa to more advanced processes involving robotic process automation. It has seen tremendous growth in recent years, and a Statista report on the AI software market forecasts even more rapid developments for the technology in the near future. This technology has such a great influence and pronounced relevance globally that countries are racing to speed ahead with their AI capabilities. While the US and China are two obvious key players for AI considering their resources, other nations are quickly stepping up to the plate as formidable competitors. The Artificial Intelligence race has now become a movement with global players.
The Rise of AI
On our list of the Top 10 Trending Technologies in 2021 You Need To Learn, AI takes the top spot, and it is easy to see why. This technology was designed as early as the 1950s to mimic aspects of human intelligence, solving complex problems with accuracy, precision, and speed. Computers were modelled after the brain and nervous system, enabling them to learn tasks such as navigating a maze. Today, the applications are endless across different sectors, from healthcare to finance and automobiles.
The Global Race for AI Advancement
The scramble for supremacy in AI comes as no surprise, considering how dependent the world has become on information and technology. Trends in AI span nations, with the popularity of face recognition, self-driving automobiles, and delivery of better online outcomes for businesses taking precedence. As both developed and developing countries try to get ahead of their neighbours, some countries are standing out and placing themselves at the forefront of the AI race.
Countries Leading in AI
Not surprisingly, China has turned its ambitions of becoming an AI power of the world into a reality. The country aims to become a $150 billion AI global leader by the time the decade ends, a challenge that is achievable considering their status as a global leader in AI research. Its studies on AI have focused on deep learning, more so than other countries have done. This is thanks to its internet-reliant population, which provides a huge supply of data to process and study.
2. The United States
Right up there with China is the United States, which has been a pioneer of AI research since the 1950s. The U.S. received significant economic benefits from digital innovation, producing some of the world’s most successful tech companies such as Google and Microsoft. It has the most number of AI start-ups than other countries in the AI race, with the ecosystem benefiting from private equity and venture capital funding. The hardware it produces in computer chips and semiconductors that make AI technology possible are also ahead. However, the recent funding reductions and tighter restrictions for international research professionals make things look a little uncertain for this country’s path on the AI race.
The land of the rising sun is a country of fascinating contrasts, which help its people move forward into the future without losing sight of their identity. Indeed, Expat Bets’ feature on Japan highlights how the country is known for both its dizzyingly massive cities with their bustling economies and entertainment venues as well as its enchanting rural areas with their breathtaking scenery and undeniable calm. Present in both are a people that are comfortable with high-speed technological innovation to supplement their way of life. Japan leads AI in Asia, especially in robotics, and the Strategic Council for AI Technology highlights the country’s roadmap on AI technology strategy. If it can continue to supply a steady workforce in the tech sector, then it will remain a technological giant, especially in AI as the decade progresses.
Germans are known for their efficient processes, especially where technology is concerned. The country is positioned to be a technological leader in Europe with autonomous vehicles, quantum computing, and robotics. The technical know-how combined with clockwork processes allows Germany to merge tradition with modern innovation. Its tech ecosystem (called “Cyber Valley”) is also gaining attraction as a sort of European Silicon Valley. The location was created to foster collaboration with leading universities, private companies, and research organisations to push tech and AI forward.
India is an up-and-coming tech nation that presents a lot of potential considering its continuous digital transformation. AI’s impact in this developing country is easily measured through its economic impact. An article published by The Economic Times points out that AI can add as much as $500 billion to the economy, according to Google India. An important factor in the country maintaining this trajectory is the support of the Indian administration coupled with their AI initiatives.
Where the AI Race Leads
As artificial intelligence grows and becomes more refined to solve ever more complex problems, it is essential to go beyond academic queries and apply the systems themselves to practical situations. Countries can make leaps and bounds in AI by focusing on areas where they have already developed expertise (e.g., Japanese robotics or German automation). Rather than viewing other country’s advancements negatively, having more players on the field is a good indicator of healthy competition that will tackle different aspects of AI and move the technology forward in exciting ways.