Who will lead in the age of artificial intelligence? This is a question which attracts a lot of views, reactions, and opinions from AI policy analysts, top business leaders, and the general populace. The potential which Artificial Intelligence has shown to have has fueled this debate further making it difficult to predict the ultimate leader. However, there are two main economies which have, for the past few years, made enormous strides towards advancing artificial intelligence research and application.

These are the US and The People’s Republic of China.

China or the US: Who is the Leader in AI?

This question can’t be handled at a superficial level. Delving deeper into the US and China approaches to AI will help identify the key areas where these two countries could achieve AI leadership.

1. Research and Discoveries

Artificial Intelligence technology will make little progress without significant research. Both China and the US have shown a considerable commitment towards funding AI research. However, the US has been on the forefront in the research of artificial intelligence. The government has also invested heavily in artificial intelligence. AI companies based in the US have received huge funding from AI investors and this has seen the value of artificial intelligence stocks rise significantly.

All the big data companies based in the US such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple have a division within their business structure which is dedicated to AI. Google has Google AI (formerly called Google Research) while Apple has Apple AI with Siri being the flagship software. Microsoft has also a division dedicated towards Artificial intelligence and seeks to consolidate all its efforts into creating intuitive software systems which mimic human intelligence.

The National Science Foundation (in the US) has also been on the forefront in providing the necessary incentives for the advancement of artificial intelligence research. This government agency directs over $100 million towards AI research. Such efforts have born fruits in the artificial intelligence field and proved that this technology is the next big thing in the in the technology world. But without the AI enthusiasts and commitment to transfer these discoveries from the labs to the industries, the potential of artificial intelligence may never be fully felt.

2. Industrial Applications

Artificial intelligence has so far found multiple applications across different industries and sectors. It has been used in the medical field, the financial sector, and also in agriculture. The automobile industry is greatly capitalizing on this to create intelligent robots, increase industrial safety, and enhance industrial process efficiency. It is through these industrial applications that the general populace has come to appreciate the role played by artificial intelligence.

The potential of artificial intelligence is still high. Big companies such as IBM are moving quickly to capitalize on these discoveries. Due to these speculations and strong indicators that AI has the potential to revolutionize a myriad of industries, the artificial intelligence stocks of companies in the AI industry are continually gaining more value.

While the US has been on the lead when it comes to AI research and discoveries, China has proved to be hard-to-beat when it comes to industrial applications. Though some analysts will argue that the key catalyst in China’s leading edge in AI applications is due to its big population, deeper analysis on the economic and social landscape of this economy will reveal that its success in AI application is multifaceted and cannot be attributed to a single factor.

While China’s research and discoveries in AI intelligence have not been quite disruptive, it’s consisted innovation of industrial processes to match the available AI technology is something to be acknowledged. The real potential of artificial intelligence does not lie in its discovery but in its applications. Thus China’s position to efficiently prototype this technology and transfer such to large scale production is key in creating disruptive economic advancements.

However, without the research and the discoveries, such progress will soon come to a standstill. Thus both the research and application of the discoveries are necessary in reaping the full benefits which come with AI.

3. Government Policy and Support

Policies act as the engine which drives change and progress. A thriving economy owes much to the government policies, regulations, and support. This is also true to artificial intelligence. While the US government has shown a serious commitment to AI development and deployment, its rather fragmented structure and agencies makes it difficult for the different entities to coordinate the AI research and aid companies which are engaged in the research and application of this technology.

On the other hand, the Chinese government has consolidated all its efforts towards advancing AI and creating synergy power which has catapulted AI advancement in the country. While the two economies remain almost at per when it comes to government support of AI, China has strong indicators that the government may make moves which will better the AI research in the future.

4. Intake of the AI Technology by the Private Sector and the Citizenry

Change can’t be spearheaded by the government alone. The private sector and the citizens play a key role in effecting these government efforts. The US adoption of Artificial Intelligence technology is being led by the big tech companies such as Google, IBM, and Microsoft. These companies have a huge budget and can actually fund extensive AI research. While this can be perceived as advantageous, it has its downsides. These big companies face the challenge of inflexibility and long decision-making processes.

The Chinese economy consists of young and ambitious entrepreneurs who are keen to break new grounds in technology and entrepreneurship. Their resilience has born fruits and there is a crop of small-scale startups which are driving AI application and adoption across the Chinese economic landscape.

The advantage of such startups is that they are considerably flexible and thus the C.E.Os can quickly make decisions which will continue to scale the company achievements and profitability. The success of some of these startups has attracted the attention of investors who have bought artificial intelligence stocks in these companies giving such companies more financial grounding.


The age of artificial intelligence is finally here with us. While it’s true that we are yet to experience the full potential of artificial intelligence, the early success of this technology strongly indicates that there is much to anticipate and hope for. Since AI is not yet fully explored, determining the real leader in this field at this early stage may be prone to error and misjudgment. This will only be possible after the technology has fully caught up with the world economies and has received massive adoption among the leading economies of the world.