The era of artificial intelligence (AI) is very much here and now. Various forms of AI are carrying out tasks humans used to perform but at a much better efficiency, accuracy, and at a lower cost too. We also now starting to interact with AI in the form of self-driving cars, smartphone apps, and drones and countries all around the world are competing to become leaders in the field. One healthy competitor in the race is the United States, but in order for them to become number one when it comes to AI, it will take a lot more than simply harnessing the best technologies to do it.
An AI revolution is upon us, that much is for certain. But, in order for it to keep progressing it needs data. Machine learning algorithms need large amounts of data in which to learn from. The problem with this is that data is not spread out evenly across the world. According to statistics, China will possess as much as 20 percent of the world’s data by 2020 simply through its large population and society’s uptake on new technologies. Is having more data enough to give China the edge by enabling machine learning algorithms to learn from a wider pool?
Perhaps, but then they still have data privacy issues to contend with, like the rest of the world. One recent study revealed how integrating AI into the healthcare industry could save the United States around $300 billion per year. But, getting access to people’s personal information is difficult. For that reason data could soon become a resource of fierce competition. Data poisoning tactics or even outright theft may be employed by businesses as they fight to take the lead position.
Countries that capture and breed the best innovators in artificial intelligence will surely gain an advantage, but whether it will be enough to secure the United States a place as a world-leading AI pioneer, remains to be seen. The country may have the resources and data to do it but putting it all together is the difficult part. While Russia isn’t really in the running when it comes to AI research breakthroughs, it is well-positioned to use AI technologies in a different manner to most other countries. The Kremlin for example, quite happily uses AI on Twitter to steer debates and design social engineering attacks.
It’s just the start of the AI revolution and already so many changes have happened, and so many more are yet to come. If the United States is to emerge as a global leader in artificial intelligence it will test the resourcefulness and creativity of all aspects of society.
Source National Interest