Daily Management Review

Former Head Of Google China Thinks Funding In AI Should Be Doubled By US


09/30/2018




Former Head Of Google China Thinks Funding In AI Should Be Doubled By US
According to investor and AI practitioner Kai-Fu Lee, who has worked for leading etch companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple, the amount of investment in research in artificial intelligence by the US needs to be doubled to counter China which has become very active in this technology field.
 
These comments were made in the context of Ai related announcements being made by a number of parts of the US administration despite the fact that there is not set strategy or pathway set by the US on AI. And at the same time, last year china had announced its AI plan and strategy and had claimed that it intended to get to the number 1 position in the world in AI technology by 2030.
 
"Double the AI research budget would be a good start, given that all other countries are so much farther behind U.S., and we're looking for the next breakthrough in AI," said Lee.
 
Lee said in a television interview that the next big AI achievement will be made in the U.S. if the US doubles its investments in development of the technology.
 
Lee is the CEO of Sinovation Ventures, which has invested in one of the most prominent AI companies in China and has authored a book titled "AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order" which was published this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Lee is also amongst the early experts to work on AI systems when in the 1980s he worked with the Carnegie Mellon University on the technology. The project he worked on managed to beat the highest ranked American Othello player. He later became an executive at Microsoft Research and was the president of Google's China branch.
 
Lee lauded the earlier technology competitions that were organized by the U.S. government such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Robotics Challenge. But also wondered when such events would be again organized which can give a boost to new technology.
 
Lee said that US government grants in technology are hard to be obtained.
 
"It's not China that is taking away the academic leaders; it's the corporates," Lee said. 
 In recent years, scholars from universities have been hired to research on AI by IT firms like Facebook, Google and others.
 
The U.S. can bolster its AI efforts by changes in its immigration policy, Lee said.
 
"I think green cards should automatically be offered to PhD's in AI," he said.
 
In July 2017, the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan was issued by China's State Council. Researchers in AI at academic institutions are provided funding by China's National Natural Science Foundation in a way similar to what is done by the National Science Foundation and other government organizations in the US. But Lee said that the quality of academic work is lower in China.
 
(Source:www.cnbc.com)






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