US Report: China will Become Global AI Giant, with 3 Chinese Companies among the Top 9

At the SXSW (South by Southwest) conference held in Austin, Texas, AI and China are two heated topics.

Yesterday, Amy Webb, founder of FTI (Future Today Institute) and professor at New York University, released the latest annual technology trend report at SXSW, most of which focused on the impact of AI.

The report has been issued for the eleventh consecutive year. This year’s report mentions 225 technology trends in 20 industries, 70 of which were directly related to AI. Other topics include media, entertainment, marketing and advertising, energy, agriculture, finance, health, gene editing, and global shortages of data scientists.

The report predicts that the AI cloud and algorithm market will continue to grow this year and that the first batch of individual robots will enter the market. Some trends in AI are facial recognition, speech recognition, and personal identification.

China has become one of the biggest highlights of the report.

“The development of artificial intelligence is the modern version of the arms race,” the report said. “In 2018, China will lay the foundation to become the world AI leader. If we regard data as new oil, China’s 730 million online population is the world’s largest and possibly most important natural resource. And there are no privacy and security restrictions.”

In addition, Webb said that China invests more sovereign state funds than the sum of all other countries combined, and that China’s investment in artificial intelligence startups is also the world’s largest.

I am not jealous of what China has done. I do doubt the ultimate purpose of their actions, and wonder if this is good for the future of mankind,

Webb said.

The report points out that trends such as identification technology, AI assistants and dedicated AI chips mean that 2018 marks the beginning of end of traditional smartphones, and the beginning of rapid growth of smart watches, smart glasses, smart headphones and other wearable devices.

By 2021, more than half of calculations will be done through speech, the report predicts.

Webb pointed out that AI is defining a new wave of computing. Technology giants will continue to invest in the AI, and more and more startup companies will be merged and acquired.

“These are the nine companies that control the future of AI. They all cooperate with academic institutions and invest in the AI field. The next era is basically in the hands of these nine companies,” said Webb at the SXSW. She further added, “You should especially pay special attention to these three companies: Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba.”

Founded in 2006, FTI is committed to helping leaders and their organizations prepare for a complex future. FTI focuses on emerging technologies and sciences, and how these will disrupt businesses, change the workforce and trigger geopolitical changes.

This article originally appeared in QbitAI and was translated by Pandaily.