AI Superlatives: Here’s what’s happening in the global race for AI supremacy

China and the US are still ‘most likely to succeed’ in the global AI race -- but there are a couple of “late bloomers” rising in the ranks.

May 3, 2018

When it comes to AI, the United States and China are most likely to succeed (in terms of startup funding, at least). Chinese startups received 48% of the world’s AI startup funding in 2017 (compared to the US’s 38%), though the States hosts a larger number of ventures.

But there are LOTS of other countries in the race, and they’re putting up some big droid money to keep things interesting.

Most likely to improve: Brazil

Analysts believe AI will add significant growth to Brazil’s economy by 2035, bringing in an additional $432B. The largest contribution may be in the “capital augmentation” sector (AKA, banking), where Brazilian banks are particularly bullish on AI in their future operations.

Most unique: France

Parlez-vous AI? The French do, and according to President Macron’s announcement in March, the government will invest $1.8B in AI research until 2022, with a niche focus of making private companies publicly release their data for use in AI on a “case-by-case basis.”

Most likely to start a war: Russia

What, your high school didn’t have that award? Putin once ominously predicted that the leader in AI will “rule the world,” and Russia’s investment focus seems to lean heavily in the “global domination” direction.

According to Quartz, Russia spends an estimated $12.5m a year on AI, and many of their products are “military in nature,” like AI-assisted fighter jets and automated artillery.

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