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China missed the industrial revolution — don't miss digital
Material posted: Publication date: 04-06-2018
If the second half of the XX century was the era of the nuclear arms race of two superpowers — the USSR and the United States, the XXI century can be marked by a race of artificial intelligence, only this time between the US and China. By 2030, according to government plans, China will become the world's center of innovation and leader in development of artificial intelligence. The U.S. is concerned that China will borrow us high technologies and attract American scientists to work in China, which ultimately will lead to his global leadership in the field of AI.

Beijing hopes that artificial intelligence not just to transform its economic growth model, but also to expand geopolitical influence of China and to modernize the army and strengthen the country's defense. Today in China, they're building entire smart cities, and the AI used in medicine, military, social management.

Chinese authorities strongly support local manufacturers and developers of the AI, giving them tax breaks, administrative preferences and direct funding. In General China is in dire need for competent professionals in this field and is ready to attract them to their high salaries and various benefits. In addition, Chinese companies do not spare money on the involvement of specialists from foreign companies-competitors — superior scientist in China can offer up to a million dollars a year.

In 2016, artificial intelligence (AI) for the first time defeated a professional go player. The program AlphaGodeveloped by DeepMind, has won the first match in the three-time European champion Chinese fan huej, and later defeated Korean Lee Sedalia, which was one of the best go players in the world. Many believe that the victory of artificial intelligence in ancient Chinese the game has forced the Chinese authorities to think seriously about development of this area and to contribute to the development of artificial intelligence in a number of strategic objectives. However, about the need to work on artificial intelligence thought much earlier. Although the guidance document — "Program of development of artificial intelligence of a new generation" was released a year after the triumph AlphaGoin June 2017, this area as a priority was mentioned in many earlier documents.

The electricity of the XXI century

In 2006, the PRC state Council issued the "State mid - and long-term plan for the development of science and technology", covering the period up to 2020 it is among the priorities of the technologies listed smart sensors, smart robots and augmented reality technology. In 2015 was released programsand "Made in China 2025". It includes a Fund of 300 billion dollars. on the development of high technology and industrial production. This programme involves the intensification of work in the field of R & d, new materials, artificial intelligence, creation of telecommunication networks of the fifth generation of production robots. In 2016, was published the "Guiding opinions of the state Council, China's active implementation of initiatives Internet+". In this document artificial intelligence, along with technology, Big Data, blockchain, machine learning is regarded as a priority area of application of the state strategy aimed at accelerating the use of information and communication technologies for development of intelligent industry.

Why is China so seriously undertook the development of artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence called "the electricity of the XXI century". This technology, the scope of which is incredibly vast and she is able to make a new industrial revolution. And this is exactly what China is so necessary in recent years. Quite a long time, the country was the world's factory due to the use of cheap labor and copying foreign technology, China has provided the world with inexpensive (but not always quality) of manufactured goods. This model allowed several decades to maintain double-digit growth of the economy.

Now, however, China falls into the middle income trap. The standard of living of the population increased, therefore, the main competitive advantage — cheap labor — is already eroding. Based on this, the only solution in this situation — to compete with the developed economies, with their skills and innovation. For this country to make a technological breakthrough. This jerk should be the development of artificial intelligence.

The Chinese authorities hope with the help of artificial intelligence not just to transform its economic growth model, but also to expand geopolitical influence of China and to modernize the army and strengthen the country's defense.

The President of Russia Vladimir Putin notedthat the one who will become a leader in the field of artificial intelligence, will be the master of the world. Chinese authorities, of course, also understand this. In June 2017, the PRC state Council issued the "Program of development of artificial intelligence of a new generation", which States that artificial intelligence has become a new field of international competition. This is a strategic technology that will determine the future development and international competitiveness of the country and its national security and the level of influence in the world. Thus, the Chinese authorities hope with the help of artificial intelligence not just to transform its economic growth model, but also to expand geopolitical influence of China and to modernize the army and strengthen the country's defense. Chinese President XI Jinping than once emphasized the importance of civil-military integration, the need to eliminate barriers between the commercial economy and military industrial base. In other words, artificial intelligence is seen as the industry is dual-purpose. The development of military and civilian applications of these technologies are expected to be implemented synchronously.

Strategic objectives

The Chinese program of development of artificial intelligence of new generation poses three strategic objectives. First — by 2020, industry AI China should keep pace with similar industries in the major developed countries. In this fundamental branch of AI accumulates 22.5 billion dollars, and the volume of related industries exceeds $ 150 billion. The second goal — by 2025, China will have to achieve a leading position in some areas of the AI, the fundamental sector will accumulate $ 60 billion., and adjacent — 745 billion. Finally, by 2030, China has become a major world center of innovation in the field of AI, the fundamental sector will accumulate $ 150 billion., and adjacent — 1.5 trillion dollars.

How to achieve these strategic goals, the program is not explained, although formally it has a section devoted to it — "substantive challenges". However, it's more like an enumeration of the industries in which it was possible to implement and develop artificial intelligence. This "smart city", and the application of AI in medicine and the development of swarm intelligence and deep semantic analysis, and machine vision, and application of AI in military, in social management. It seems that "Program" is not so much a practical guide to action, as the overall benchmark for the Central and local authorities. Officials can choose one of the areas of "Programs" that are most appropriate for their specific region and expanding it and diluting their own initiatives. For example, the authorities have traditionally been the poorest province of Guizhou has decided to make her "China data center" — this contributes to the favourable cool climate and mountainous terrain. Chinese tech giant Tencent, for example, already builds in the mountains a huge underground data storage area of 30 sq. km. Similar data center under construction in Guizhou, and for the service Apple iCloud. Construction will be completed by 2020, the centre will occupy an area of 67 hectares. Thus, for the last three years investments in the IT sector in Guizhou has increased by 378%. Last year in Guizhou invested $ 2.8 billion. services related to the transfer, storing and processing data. And now, once the poorest province in the first quarter of 2018, was one of the few that showed double-digit GDP growth rate was 10.1%.

There is a more specific document for the development of artificial intelligence — the "three-year action plan to promote the development of the branches of artificial intelligence of a new generation", released by the Ministry of industry and information technology of the PRC in December 2017 and covers the period up to 2020, It poses several problems. First, to encourage the development of "smart products". These include, in particular, Internet-connected cars, smart robots and drones, systems of face recognition, voice, computer analysis of medical images. You also need to make a breakthrough in key technologies fundamental to the development of chips and neural networks, platforms open source. In addition, the plan provides for the development of industries using technologies of artificial intelligence.

The Chinese authorities strongly support local manufacturers and designers of chips, giving them tax breaks, administrative preferences and, most importantly, funding.

This three-year plan echoes another document — the Ministry of science and technology of China has released a list of 13 technology projects, a priority for large-scale public investment. Projects must be implemented until 2021, the Most notable among them — the project of creating the chip for artificial intelligence on performance and energy efficiency will be 20 times greater than the American M40 Nvidia is one of the most widely used chips for artificial intelligence at the moment.

Where to get five million scientists?

Not for nothing the Chinese authorities put emphasis on the development of chips in the development of artificial intelligence. At the moment this is the most problematic area. The development of chips and chips — a very knowledge-intensive and capital-intensive process, and not always with the obvious result. China is extremely dependent on the import of foreign chips and chips, mostly American, in the country produced only 16% consumed it chips and chips. The annual import amounts to 200 billion dollars, even more of China's oil imports. China's share in the global market even fewer in 2015, China accounted for only 4% of global chip production, while in the USA — 50%. Of course, the Chinese authorities strongly support local manufacturers and designers of chips, giving them tax breaks, administrative preferences and, most importantly, funding. For example, the State investment Fund to support Chinese chip manufacturers and chip accumulated 31.5 billion dollars. However, this is not such a large amount in the industry. Only one Intel, for example, in 2016 spent on research and development 12.7 billion dollars.

China is also experiencing an acute shortage of qualified personnel. According to estimates of the Ministry of industry and information technology of the PRC for the implementation of the objectives will require around 5 million professionals in this field. At this moment there are only 1.9 million of these specialists — while in the US, 850 thousand, and in China, only 50 thousand And more than 43% of them came from the United States. Now the world is approximately 2,500 companies engaged in the research, development and practical application of artificial intelligence. Thus, US companies take the lion's share of the market and ahead of China on all aspects of research and development AI acknowledges the research center of Tencent. In developing processors and chips employs 33 14 American and Chinese companies. In the field of natural language processing, computer vision and image recognition are occupied 586 273 American and Chinese companies. Machine learning, intelligent drones and robots, self-driving cars indicators 488 and 304, respectively.

The only area where China has indisputable competitive advantage is a huge array of data. China's huge population, more than half of which 752 million people (twice the U.S. population) to use mobile Internet. 84% of them regularly use mobile payments. Thus, people in their daily lives leave "digital footprints." It is precisely these kinds of big data that are so important for machine learning.

Foreigners will help us

In all other areas China relies on foreign technology and personnel. In the Program of development of artificial intelligence of a new generation, and in the three-year action plan States that we need to encourage local companies to carry out mergers and acquisitions of foreign partners. The success of such a policy are obvious — a few years ago, Baidu opened a research center in Silicon valley (Silicon Valley Artificial Intelligence Lab), in 2017, the company opened a second centre for research and development of driverless cars in the framework of its project Apollo. Soon opened a third laboratory in the US — Business Intelligence Lab — research and processing of Big Data. Another technology giant company Tencent — opened research centre for artificial intelligence in Seattle.

The only area where China has indisputable competitive advantage is a huge array of data.

Foreign companies are happy to open a research lab in China. For example, Google employs staff in its research center in Beijing, despite the fact that the main products of the company — search Google or email service Gmail is blocked in China. On the other hand, the Chinese authorities are trying to create favorable working conditions for foreign professionals — scientists and developers in the field of high technologies will be able to get a Chinese visa for a period of 5 to 10 years, they will have the opportunity to enter the country an unlimited number of times. In addition, Chinese companies do not spare money on the involvement of specialists from foreign companies-competitors — superior scientist in China can offer up to a million dollars a year.

This approach began to trouble US — they fear that China will adopt American high technology, to attract American scientists to subsequently become a world leader in the field of artificial intelligence and to oust the United States from that field. Moreover, China may gain an advantage in the military sphere. In the US, the development of artificial intelligence is mainly due to the private companies. But these companies often do not agree to develop solutions and products of dual use. For example, when Google absorbed the company DeepMind, the latter were forbidden to use their own development in the defense industry or for the organization of surveillance of citizens of the country. Also, when Google acquired a developer of robots SCHAFT, the company said it will not work on the Management of perspective research projects of the Ministry of defense.

In China the situation is quite different. Despite the fact that China operates a third of the global technology start-UPS with a capitalization of more than $ 1 billion., dominate all of these companies three tech giants: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT). In most startups direct or indirect investments came from the BAT. The Ministry of science and technology of China formed one of these companies first working group for the development of artificial intelligence technologies of the new generation. In this group, Baidu will be responsible for self-driving cars, Alibaba for smart city think-tank urban environment, Tencent for computer vision. If this BAT does not hide the fact that the share c government "big data" in case of need, open in companies party committees. Discussed the possibility of formalizing these relations — the acquisition of the state share of 1% in the companies. When the head of China, XI Jinping speaks of the necessity of civil-military integration, we can assume that all the achievements of the Chinese (not only Chinese) scientists and companies in the field of artificial intelligence will be available to the military.

A race of artificial intelligence

Directly of the program of development of artificial intelligence in the military sphere in China no. However, as noted by Elsa Kania, the participant of the program "Technology and national security" at the Center for a new American security, the Chinese military understand the necessity of intellectualization of the military-industrial complex. Future military actions are likely to be impersonal, intangible, and inaudible. In her opinion, China is actively developing in the field of the UAV, underwater drones, self-driving combat vehicles.

All of this makes you nervous in the first place the United States. If the second half of the XX century was the era of the nuclear arms race of two superpowers — the USSR and the United States, the XXI century can be marked by a race of artificial intelligence, only this time between the US and China. The US is trying to resist: D. trump initiated an investigation into violations of intellectual property rights by China under article 301 of the Trade act of 1974, United States. The investigation showedthat China infringes upon American intellectual property rights, and in four main aspects. This forced technology transfer, discriminatory licensing regulations, cross-border acquisitions, and intellectual property theft. U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer at the end of the "301 investigation" , said: "China declares that he will possess the technology, spend a few hundred billion dollars and will dominate the world. And if China will dominate the world, it's bad for America." In the end, D. trump said about the possibility of imposing tariffs on goods from China in the amount of 150 billion dollars, to deter the development of the "Made in China 2025", in favor of which, in the opinion of the American side, China just uses its policy towards American intellectual property.

Chinese companies do not spare money on the involvement of specialists from foreign companies-competitors — superior scientist in China can offer up to a million dollars a year.

However, China is easily parries these attacks, promising in response to restrict imports of soybeans and sorghum. It hurts the us economy because more than half of domestically produced soybeans, for example, is exported to China. Thus, American farmers lose markets for their products. Meanwhile, the farmers — it is the electorate that D. trump has based his campaign. Therefore, the attempts of containment, apparently, is still inconclusive. At least in the last round of trade talks between the Chinese delegation led by Vice-Premier of the state Council of the PRC Liu he D. trump announced that the introduction of import duties on goods at $ 150 billion. postponed, since China has agreed to lift restrictions on the import of American agricultural products.

China from the beginning stated publicly that if the reduction of the American trade deficit still need to work, that's industrial policy and innovation — an internal affair of China and is not negotiable. In the eyes of the world D. trump really looks not a fighter for justice, and the aggressor encroaching on the basic principles of free trade and international division of labor. Though, because those same American companies themselves are reluctant to mergers and acquisitions with Chinese partners, so from an economic point of view it suits them.

The XXI century can be marked by a race of artificial intelligence, only this time between the US and China.

And maybe, in the race of artificial intelligence should change tactics and go from deterrence to increased competition? The Obama administration has developed the program of development of artificial intelligence, and, as noted by the Western media, the Chinese program of development of artificial intelligence of the new generation came out a year later, American and largely repeated it. The American program is expected, in particular, the increase in government funding for research and development in the field of artificial intelligence. However, the administration of D. trump, by contrast, decided to reduce the already minuscule costs of the National science Foundation to research "intelligent systems" for 10% to 175 million dollars. Instead of increasing private spending on research, the U.S. is trying to restrict Chinese development, but China is unlikely to make concessions. Recently in one of the leading Newspapers of China, "Guangming daily" published an articlecalling for not to miss the opportunity of a new technological revolution. It noted that China was a strong agricultural country, but missed the opportunities provided by the industrial revolution, and as a result turned into the passive region exposed to infringements. Thanks to the efforts of several generations, according to the newspaper, China has become closer than ever to the goal of great revival of the Chinese nation, and was never so confident as now. Apparently, the government is trying to address the mistakes of the past and not miss a historic chance to become a leader in the new digital revolution.

Leonid Kovacic

Source: http://russiancouncil.ru/analytics-and-comments/analytics/kitay-upustil-promyshlennuyu-revolyutsiyu-ne-propustit-tsifrovuyu/

Tags: assessment , China


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