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Chinese Innovation is on the Rise

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We have to admit that Silicon Valley’s decline corresponds to China’s rise in innovation prowess.

China has a “bad dog” robot that’s shocking China’s youth out of their loneliness. On WeChat, the dominant app in China you can get divorced, get an express pass in healthcare and put your subway pass on it.

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Huawei is building a personal assistant equipped with emotional intelligence for longer more meaningful conversations and dialogue. Facial recognition startups in China are years ahead of the rest of the world.

The AI-strategy of the Chinese Government appears to be the leading model of how AI will develop and be implemented in society.

Joy Tan of Huawei echoes pretty much what I’ve been writing about on China:

China is Showing a More Youthful Innovation Spirit

  • China has more supercomputers than any other country, including the US. (China has 202, while as of November 2017, the US had 144). And the world’s two fastest supercomputers are Chinese. (FYI: In Egypt, the Library of Alexandria, opened in 2002, uses a network of super-computers assembled by Huawei to perform mathematical calculations for bioinformatics, data mining, weather forecasting, and other applications.)
  • With ubiquitous adoption of services like WeChat, China has embraced mobile payments on a scale not seen elsewhere. China’s mobile payments market is worth US$5.5 trillion, roughly 50 times the value of the US market.
  • Last year on Singles Day, an online shopping holiday created by China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, sales in a 24-hour period were double those in the US over the Thanksgiving holiday the previous year. To handle that sales volume, Alibaba processed 256,000 transactions per second. By comparison, Visa’s web site says it can handle 24,000 digital transactions per second.
  • The US is learning from China. For example, the success of dockless bike-sharing platforms such as Mobike has spawned US imitators like Limebike, a company founded in California in 2017. And Mobike averages about 30m to 35m trips a day in China alone — about five times the number of trips taken each day on Uber.

The West is Copying Chinese Models

The writing is on the wall, even Wired is now looking for stories on Chinese AI. As a futurist, it’s not by accident that I’ve been obsessed with China’s emerging technology dynasty. With the proliferation of Chinese students in U.S. Colleges, and the Chinese Government’s plan to be the leader in AI, and even how they approach emerging technologies such as blockchain adoption, it’s clear China will not only be an economic leader by the technological leader in the age of automation, robots, the cloud and foundational technology companies such as Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba, Didi and others.

It used to be the Chinese that copied western innovation, including corporate espionage and stealing patents under the table. Increasingly we are noticing Western tech copying Chinese trends, from Amazon using QR codes to video live-streaming apps being more mature in China, companies like Bytedance and JD.com could have a significant impact on apps and retail globally. Namely how the Chinese technology state matures will provide a model for the future of artificial intelligence.

Microsoft and Facebook have been building products for China, with censorship enabled technologies. Meanwhile Google and Amazon and others have set up talent recruitment offices in China to try to cherry pick some of China’s brightest minds. Silicon Valley is seriously concerned with the rise of China as a technological superpower, because they know that they will not be able to compete as soon as the mid to late 2020s.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has an archaic AI strategy compared to countries with smarter and younger leaders. This means the likes of Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon have far too much power in how AI is implemented and regulated, and how data is harvested, shared and used for advertising, e-commerce and even the future of hardware, devices and robotics.

The future of AI will likely have socialist characteristics, since by the time AI matures, China will be the leader. All that Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, Huawei, Xiaomi and others do, will essentially be to service that future. The companies that arise in China’s tech dynasty will grow faster and grow larger than any other global equivalents for various reasons including state-sponsored support and funding. If China can figure out how to onboard global talent, it will be unstoppable by as early as 2030 as the definite leader in technology, innovation and the future of AI.

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