Jeffrey Ding, the lead for the Center for the Governance of AI at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, explains misconceptions about China and artificial intelligence.
For instance, some reports indicate that China leads the U.S. in the number of A.I.-related patents globally and research papers. No one bothers to mention that researchers outside of China more frequently cite U.S. patents and papers in their own studies, indicating that the Chinese patents and papers may be of lesser quality, Ding says.
Another of Ding’s contrarianism targets the assumption that China’s vast population provides a huge workforce of A.I. specialists. Yet quantifying the size of that workforce is difficult because there’s no standard for doing so, he says. Some workers in China who claim A.I. expertise may only have associate or technical certificates, meaning they likely lack the skills of people with more advanced engineering degrees.
China has also been singled out as a leader because it has compiled a database of over one billion facial images. In theory, it’s a valuable tool for training facial-recognition technologies, a key subset of A.I.
Less appreciated is the fact that the FBI has its own database of over 640 million faces, according to a Government Accountability Office report.