Europe lags China and US in AI

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Report offers policy recommendations for improving AI capabilities

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20 August 2019 | 0

The United States is the global leader in artificial intelligence (AI), according to a new report from the Centre of Data Innovations. China is a close second; it is catching up and even leading in some areas. However, the European Union (EU) lags behind both in the AI economy.

The report entitled “Who Is Winning the AI Race: China, the EU or the United States?” examines six categories of metrics: talent (number of AI researchers), research (number of AI papers), development (number of AI start-ups), adoption (percent of firms adopting AI), data (amount of IoT data), and hardware (number of firms designing AI chips). The EU does not lead in any category, but closely followed the US’ 6.7 points in talent with 6.2 points.

Out of a total 100 points across all categories the US came out on top with 44.2 points. China followed, with a score of 32.3, and then the EU, with 23.5 points.

This is not set in stone. The report states that the order may change in the coming years as China appears to be making hastier progress than its competitors.

Policy recommendations

The report offers policy recommendations for improving AI capabilities. “The EU has the talent to compete with China and the United States in AI, but there is a clear disconnect between the amount of AI talent and its development and adoption,” said Eline Chivot, the Centre’s senior policy analyst.

“The EU should prioritise policies to retain talent, transfer research successes into business applications, grow larger firms that can better compete in a global market, and reform regulations to better enable use of data for AI.”

“AI is the next wave of innovation and overlooking this opportunity will pose a threat to a region’s economic and national security,” said Daniel Castro, the Centre’s director. “The EU has a strong talent pool and an active research community, but unless it supercharges its current AI initiatives, it will not keep pace with China and the United States.”

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