The US Leads World in AI

It is no question that AI can boost competitiveness, increase productivity, protect national security, and help solve societal challenges. As such many nations are racing to achieve a global innovation advantage in AI. But who is pulling ahead? A new study finds China lagging behind America, but surpassing the EU.

The study, conducted by the Center for Data Innovation (CDI), ranked the US first in terms of talent, research, development, and hardware. The US benefits immensely from its ability to attract, educate, and retain foreign and domestic talent. Not only that the US has the largest number of AI startups, its startup ecosystem has garnered more private equity and venture capital investment than was seen in any other country. CDI also said the U.S. “leads in the development of both traditional semiconductors and the computer chips that power AI systems; while it produces fewer AI scholarly papers than the EU or China, it produces the highest-quality papers on average.”

However, compared with China and the EU, the US does have some disadvantages. Its smaller population is a limitation in generating the data necessary to develop AI. The report suggests that the United States focus on ways to “maximize the value of the data it generates, especially by creating a regulatory environment that facilitates data sharing and reuse.”

Another disadvantage in the United States is in part due to negative public perceptions of AI. Consequently, the United States should “focus on demonstrating the value of AI to its citizens and businesses while using the federal government’s ability to fund, procure, and regulate AI to spur its adoption”. When it comes to regulations, the US should avoid “the temptation to embrace policies that would limit innovation and discourage AI adoption”.

CDI’s full report on the AI global race is here.