China seeking world dominance? Well, in the artificial intelligence area (AI) anyway. To be fair and balanced, the U.S. is, too, BUT China has access to a vastly bigger database (like, more people) to ‘mine’ the intelligence from.
Money is pouring into Chinese software firms to develop AI since that sector can overhaul huge sectors of the economy AND national security. Oh, and one big advantage for China to dominate this field? They have a lot of government support. Just having governments involved makes Western governments ‘twitch’. Plus, it should be easy for China to number 1 ’cause we’re pretty busy here with political in-fighting. Also makes us wonder if Elon Musk will start a war of words with the Chinese government over all this? Hmmmm……
“Xu Li’s software scans more faces than maybe any on earth. He has the Chinese police to thank.
Xu runs SenseTime Group Ltd., which makes artificial intelligence software that recognizes objects and faces, and counts China’s biggest smartphone brands as customers. In July, SenseTime raised $410 million, a sum it said was the largest single round for an AI company to date. That feat may soon be topped, probably by another startup in China.
The nation is betting heavily on AI. Money is pouring in from China’s investors, big internet companies and its government, driven by a belief that the technology can remake entire sectors of the economy, as well as national security. A similar effort is underway in the U.S., but in this new global arms race, China has three advantages: A vast pool of engineers to write the software, a massive base of 751 million internet users to test it on, and most importantly staunch government support that includes handing over gobs of citizens’ data –- something that makes Western officials squirm.
Data is key because that’s how AI engineers train and test algorithms to adapt and learn new skills without human programmers intervening. SenseTime built its video analysis software using footage from the police force in Guangzhou, a southern city of 14 million. Most Chinese mega-cities have set up institutes for AI that include some data-sharing arrangements, according to Xu. “In China, the population is huge, so it’s much easier to collect the data for whatever use-scenarios you need,” he said. “When we talk about data resources, really the largest data source is the government.”…