During this week Bill Gates gave a speech in New Economy Forum in Beijing that organized by Bloomberg. One of the topics he talked about was the problem between China and the US, and he pointed out the AI research. Referencing his points, we will analyze the situation and answer the question if this "AI Race" would be beneficial for the developing world.
China has made an enormous development in AI and many reasons include the state's initiatives and new educational perspectives on higher-education. There were many radical changes started a few years ago aiming to transform the technological advancement in China. This effort would be a conceptional replica of what Japan did with the Sony and other successful electronics companies. If we would analyze the economic powers and the role of Japan back in the 1960s we would have a better image of understanding the current balance.
During the early stages of the "Electronic Revolution", the US was the monopoly in terms of research and development towards this technology. Japan's reputation was really bad after WW2 and its economy was devastated and were trying to overcome the problems with American banking resources. Then, companies like Sony created many technological devices that are reliable, cheap and fascinating. That leads to an incredibly competitive market over 50-60 years and Japanese countries still dominating some of the areas.
But, what was the effect on the developing countries back then? The effect was really positive and lead to a very wide spectrum of costumers using electronic devices. This is the consequence of a very basic economic principle, if there is a monopoly then the prices will be higher but if there is a competition the prices will be balanced. Japan certainly created this optimal price/value ratio that spread electronics all over the world including the undeveloped and developing countries.
In today's World, we have a similar problem that we can use basic pattern matching to analyze the same structure of problems. But, in addition to the earlier concept, we have a big parameter that is really powerful. This parameter is the "global publishing" or exchanging of information or global information network... Whatever you name it, it is a very powerful tool that would really spread the AI technology even faster than the "electronics". For instance, a developer from India can ask questions about a newly created library in the Netherlands. Even this basic example would be really hard to think back in the 80s. In addition to this helping or consulting on an international level, there many publications on AI, which are publicly open and accessible. Even large companies like Microsoft, Google publish their work or research.
We believe that this freedom of information will create more AI actors from different parts of the world. Thus, those actors will also play a huge role in creating a widespread network of development on the topic of AI. During his speech, Bill Gates stated that this freedom of information in terms of publications should be kept open and whoever does the AI search openly will be ahead of the "race". Hence, we believe that this would be the strategy of AI developing actors.
If we want to analyze the "AI Race" right now, many big actors are dealing with many concepts like face-recognition, robotics, neural network, NLP... If we want to classify and analyze the role of China and the US. China has more powerful strategies on the user space, the space that is closer to everyday usages, such as facial recognition. For example, Megvii is considered to be the most successful company in that field. Thus, this userspace creates more reliable sources and investments so that the most valuable AI countries are now Chinese... On the other hand, the US and Canada are more concentrated on the research side, and they are dominating most of the deep research areas for now.
To sum up, we believe that this competitive field will lead to a similar and even more powerful technological advancement in the global world including the developing countries.
As a company, our vision is to be part of this competitive field and to be an actor in it...