The study found that Chinese firms such as Tencent, Alibaba, and Huawei are among the top 10 companies producing AI research.
China is the undisputed champion in AI research papers, far surpassing the United States in both quantity and quality, according to a new study by Nikkei Asia.
The study saw the Japan-based news publication working with Dutch scientific publisher Elsevier to review academic and conference papers on AI, using some 800 AI-associated keywords to narrow them down.
The study found that Chinese firms such as Tencent, Alibaba, and Huawei are among the top 10 companies producing AI research. Specifically, China produced some 43,000 papers in 2021, roughly twice as many as the U.S.
Overall, the number of AI papers globally jumped from around 25,000 in 2012 to 135,000 in 2021. This mirrors the AI boom that began around 2012 when interest and research picked up.
However, while the U.S. led in the quality of research in 2012, the situation has since reversed. The most-cited papers in 2021 are from China, with the count topping the American tally by around 70%.
The quality of AI research papers was assessed by counting how many papers were in the top 10% of citations by other papers.
Moreover, China is poised to continue leading for now, given the multiple sustained initiatives to forge ahead in AI. Indeed, the need to accelerate research, development, and application of cutting-edge technologies, including AI, was stressed in 2023 economic priorities outlined recently at the closely watched Central Economic Work Conference, notes Nikkei Asia.
As we reported last year, a separate report by McKinsey noted that AI could disrupt transportation and other key sectors in China and add significant economic value by 2030. At that time, it was noted that China accounted for nearly one-fifth of global private investment funding in 2021, attracting USD17 billion for AI start-ups.
In that vein, AI is expected to create upwards of USD600 billion in economic value annually. This is equivalent to the 2021 gross domestic product of Shanghai, a city of nearly 28 million.
The U.S. has actively sought to stymie China’s AI ambitions. It has banned the sale of electronic design automation (EDA) software used to design high-performance chips to Chinese firms, allocated billions to fund chip facilities in the U.S., and ordered Nvidia and AMD to stop exporting cutting-edge GPUs to China.
Originally published at CDO Trends