UN: China and the US are leading the way in AI race

A report from the United Nations highlights a dominance by China and the United States in the race to artificial intelligence supremacy.

The study, by the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), was published on Thursday.

US tech giant IBM is leading in AI patents with 8,920 filed. Microsoft followed with 5,930.

Japan’s Toshiba has the next highest number of patents (5,223), ahead of South Korea’s Samsung (5,102), and Japan’s NEC Group...

Baidu sets record for AI patents in China with 2,368 filings

Baidu, often considered China’s equivalent of Google, has set a record for the number of AI-related patents filed in the country. The search engine giant has filed 2,368 AI patents in China according to PPAC’s Analysis on Artificial Intelligence Patents report. Baidu’s patents are followed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2036), Microsoft (1648), Tencent (1168), and Samsung (1047). The report notes Baidu started late in filing applications, but the company quickly exceeded...

Chinese university recruits ‘patriotic’ students to build AI weapons

A university in China has recruited 27 boys and four girls to become the world’s youngest AI weapons scientists. All of the students are under 18 and were picked from a list of 5,000 candidates by the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT). Beyond academic prowess, the BIT sought other qualities in the candidates. "We are looking for qualities such as creative thinking, willingness to fight, a persistence when facing challenges," a BIT professor told the South China Morning Post. The...

China’s first AI news anchor has debuted for a state-run outlet

Chinese state-run outlet Xinhua has offered a glimpse at the dystopian future of reporting with an AI replacement for news anchors. Xinhua appears to be using two human anchors for the base layer – one Chinese-speaking, and the other English. The humans are then animated to appear like they’re reporting the day’s news. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB29ZVDOFfU The technology looks similar to that used for ‘DeepFakes’ – videos where celebrity faces are imposed on actresses...

Baidu is the first Chinese firm to join US-led AI supergroup

Chinese search giant Baidu has become the first company from China to join a US-led AI supergroup focused on advancing industry ethics. The group is called PAI (Partnership on AI) and has been formed amid fears about the potential impacts of artificial intelligence. Such concerns include the potential effect on jobs, discrimination, and the potential loss of life when AI us used in a military capacity. PAI consists of more than 70 academic institutes along with civil groups and technology...

Chinese AI darling SenseTime wants facial recognition standards

The CEO of Chinese AI darling SenseTime wants to see facial recognition standards established for a ‘healthier’ industry. SenseTime is among China’s most renowned AI companies. Back in April, we reported it had become the world’s most funded AI startup. Part of the company’s monumental success is the popularity of facial recognition in China where it’s used in many aspects of citizens’ lives. Just yesterday, game developer Tencent announced it’s testing facial recognition to...

Study claims AI will spur growth on par with the steam engine

A study predicts AI will spur growth similar to groundbreaking technologies such as the steam engine, for at least the next decade. The simulation run by the McKinsey Global Institute shows artificial intelligence has the possibility to add 1.2 percent to annual gross domestic product growth until at least 2030. For perspective, that represents $13 trillion of additional global economic activity. Such growth is equivalent to other landmark developments such as that of the steam engine. AI is...

China plans new era of sea power with unmanned AI submarines

China is planning to upgrade its naval power with unmanned AI submarines that aim to provide an edge over the fleets of their global counterparts. A report by the South China Post on Sunday revealed Beijing’s plans to build the automated subs by the early 2020s in response to unmanned weapons being developed in the US. The subs will be able to patrol areas in the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean that are home to disputed military bases. While the expected cost of the submarines has not...

China is set to climb the AI rankings over the next decade

China currently sits in seventh place when it comes to professionals working in AI, but the nation is expected to climb the rankings over the next decade. According to a report by LinkedIn, there are currently more than 50,000 AI professionals working in China. The leader, the United States, has 850,000 professionals working in the industry. Wang Di, VP of LinkedIn China, said:

"The core technique of AI is closely related to computer science, in which the US has...

Information Commissioner targets intrusive facial recognition

Facial recognition offers huge opportunities, but the Information Commissioner is more concerned about how it could impact privacy. In a post on the ICO blog, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham highlights the advantages and disadvantages of facial recognition. “I have identified FRT by law enforcement as a priority area for my office and I recently wrote to the Home Office and the NPCC setting out my concerns,” Denham wrote. “Should my concerns not be addressed, I will...