Is Chinese Smart Software Different from US and UK AI?

April 9, 2018

I read “China Now Has the Most Valuable AI Startup in the World.” That’s one difference: Valuation. According to the Bloomberg news report:

Backed by Qualcomm Inc., it underscores its status as one of a crop of homegrown firms spearheading Beijing’s ambition to become the leader in AI by 2030. And it’s a contributor to the world’s biggest system of surveillance: if you’ve ever been photographed with a Chinese-made phone or walked the streets of a Chinese city, chances are your face has been digitally crunched by SenseTime software built into more than 100 million mobile devices.

Yep, another difference. Instead of pushing ads, the Chinese AI outfit seems to be focused on surveillance. Instead of operating in stealth mode, it seems as if someone affiliated with the company is delighted to make the link between smart software and mass surveillance.

Is there a third difference?

Based on the information dribbling in via my open source news stream, yes, there is another difference:

Engineers, computer scientists, and data management professionals.

US universities crank out top notch folks. But China goes for the Daily Double: Lots of engineers. Many high quality engineers, computer scientists, and data management professionals.

Those differences matter in my view.

Stephen E Arnold, April 9, 2018


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