IP Watchdog: China Outpaces U.S. in AI Startup Funding, Aims for AI Dominance, by Steve Brachmann
Strong AI startup funding in China demonstrates the Chinese will be a large player in the AI sector in the coming years and could even surpass American research and development in the field.
In mid-February, venture capital research firm CB Insightsreleased an Artificial Intelligence Trends Report which showed that the United States is giving up the lead in early stage funding of AI businesses to its economic rival China. In 2017, 48 percent of the world’s entire equity funding for AI startups was located in China. The U.S. was in second-place, lagging behind at 38 percent of global equity funding for AI startups. Although the U.S. still held the lead in total AI funding as well as the largest number of AI firms, this indicates that the Chinese will be a large player in the AI sector in the coming years and could even surpass American research and development in the field.
Strong AI startup funding in China follows an increase in the publication of academic research from Chinese AI researchers. Between 2012 and 2017, the percentage of Chinese authors of all AI academic research papers presented at the annual Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference grew from 10 percent up to 23 percent. During the same period of time, U.S. authorship of published AI research dropped from 41 percent to 34 percent. A report on this shift in international academic leadership from economists at the University of Toronto concluded that it could indicate the tough battle in AI supremacy that will likely develop between these two countries.