This text was reprinted with permission from The Register.
China isn’t spending as much as it says it is on AI R&D: An academic report from the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University disputed the common belief that China is pouring tens of billions of dollars into AI.
“We assess with low to moderate confidence that China’s public investment in AI R&D was on the order of a few billion dollars in 2018,” the report said. “With higher confidence, we assess that China’s government is not investing tens of billions of dollars annually in AI R&D, as some have suggested.”
China’s pledge to become the world leader in AI by 2030 has sparked the idea of an AI arms race between between the US and China. The efforts made by the Trump Administration to advance AI have often been viewed as lackluster. The US government is often criticized for not having a clear strategy and for not investing enough money and resources.
But the latest finding reveals that China isn’t spending as much money as people believe. “China’s spending in 2018 was on the same order of magnitude as U.S. planned spending for FY 2020,” it said.
Researchers studied public data from China’s Ministry of Finance and two of its biggest science and technology investment programs taken from 2018 to arrive at their conclusion. You can read the report in more detail here.