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How Much Are We Actually Investing Into AI?

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is undoubtedly a buzzword in many industries. It is changing the face of businesses around the globe, enabling them to offer a highly unique and satisfactory customer experience. It’s also an industry which is set to rocket into a multi-billion-dollar sector within the next decade, making it a lucrative technology enterprises across the world need to pay attention to.

It’s easy for both businesses and consumers to assume that billions of dollars are invested every year into this particular branch of the tech world, but how much are we actually investing in AI?

Global investment

Across the globe, countries are eagerly trying to win the race for AI domination. Much like the race for the first man on the moon, it’s considered an exceptional honor to develop AI further and further. However, there’s no finish line in sight, and the potential for the investment doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.

Seven countries, in particular, are cultivating both private and government-backed projects into the possibilities of AI, which is driving the investment ever higher.

  • USA: While the USA doesn’t currently have a central government AI program, it does have many individual projects. These projects are funded by departments in both the military and paramilitary, including DARPA and IAPRA. In 2017 alone, however, the USA attracted $12 billion in AI investment from venture capitalists.
  • China: China is undoubtedly the world’s reigning champion of AI investment. They are predicted to spend at least $70 billion by 2020, which includes a research park in Beijing costing a significant $2 billion.
  • UK: A report published by the House of Lords in the UK in May last year did acknowledge they couldn’t outspend the USA and China, but that hasn’t stopped the UK government pledging $30 million to build specific AI tech incubators. Interestingly, the UK government is taking an incredibly proactive approach to AI development within the country. They will fund further academic research, financially supporting 1,000 AI PhDs. The globally renowned universities of Cambridge and Oxford are supporting this initiative.
  • Germany: In April 2018, Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of the high importance of competing with China in the race of AI. In November, it was announced plans to invest 3 billion Euros into AI.
  • France: The French government is investing $1.8 billion into AI research until 2022. However, an undisclosed portion of funding is going towards an AI research partnership with Germany.
  • Russia: It is estimated that Russia spends annually $12.5 million. Unlike other countries, however, Russia’s primary AI demos are focused on military operations, including AI-assisted fighter jets.
  • Canada: Canada’s government invested much more in AI research than many other countries in the beginning, including $125 million commitment to AI research in 2017. The Quebec government did warn that they need to significantly ramp up investment, or they face falling behind in the race.

How AI is changing the world of gaming

With the global investment in AI becoming so high, it is naturally affecting many different industries in every country. However, one key industry it is transforming, and not always for the better, is the gaming sector. This industry saw an impressive $108.4 billion revenue generated in 2017 alone, with an expected $137.9 billion profit in 2018. The sheer increase in revenue has enabled businesses to work upon their AI capabilities. As GamblingNews.com reports Elon Musk’s OpenAI initiative, designed to develop both AI and machine learning, was able to confidently and ruthlessly defeat human players at video games.

The future of AI

Understandably, the development and adoption of AI is not going to slow down anytime soon. It’s transforming and changing every industry across the globe, enabling businesses to streamline processes, provide higher levels of customer service and so much more. What individual countries invest in AI is an interesting point to watch, and it’s only set to continue to rise. With no finishing line in sight, who wins the race of AI development is certainly one to watch.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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