The research on AI seems to be increasing at a pretty promising rate. But what has made the US more cautious is that China is at the forefront of this field.
The number of journal citations related to this field has increased by 34.5% from 2019 to 2020. This doesn’t seem alarming at first glance, but if you’re in the US, you better take notice because it’s China leading the research and development in AI. This means that China will be able to attract more investors and researchers, ultimately becoming the giant in this industry.
These statistics have been reported in a report published in collaboration with Stanford University and provides an academic scale to measure to level and amount of research done on the said topic. However, there seems to be a slight dichotomy. The demand for students opting for AI/ Machine learning/Data science related courses have skyrocketed. Undergraduates are now opting for dual specialization courses like Data Science Clubbed with MS in mechanical engineering, biomedical and Civil field due to the growing interest which could be another reason why Investors are betting big on AI.
Although the number of private companies’ investments increased by 9.3% in 2020, new ventures do not seem to be attracting funds as much as they would have hoped to. This could mean that investors fear that the AI industry would also eventually turn into a tech industry where few big names would simply ‘rule’ the ‘insignificant.’
The part of the report on technical advances also confirms the key trends in AI capabilities. Amongst which, the biggest is the industrialization of computer vision. The particular field has gained folds in progress during the AI boom, with services such as facial and objects recognition now commonplace. Likewise, generative technologies create audio, images, and videos to enhance quality and availability.
One of the reports states, “this trend promises to generate a tremendous range of downstream applications of AI for both socially useful and less useful purposes. Useful applications include cheaper computer-generated media, while malicious outcomes include misinformation and AI revenge porn.”
Biotech is an area of AI research that looks like it’s beginning to come into its own. The design and drug discovery sector got the maximum private investment compared with all the rest of the sectors. Another AlphaFold program that uses machine learning to fold proteins got the most important AI breakthroughs in 2020.
While most companies are happy paying “lip service to ethical principles,” the report notes, “most of these commitments are non-binding and lack institutional frameworks.”