AI looks set to disrupt the established world order. Here’s how

_robots_

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sean Fleming, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • Artificial Intelligence could radically reshape geopolitics, according to a new report from Tortoise Intelligence.
  • Smaller economies that have talent in abundance and excel at research could start to challenge larger ones.
  • China’s centralized AI strategy means it will likely dominate the AI world.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is shaking up the global pecking order, allowing many smaller countries to stand tall in a new competitive landscape. Established metrics such as gross domestic product (GDP) can tell you at a glance which are the world’s largest economies. But, according to a new report, they won’t tell you which ones are most likely to succeed in a new AI-driven world.

That prize is likely to go to the country, or countries, that are making the right strategic investments now. Those investments are focused on equipping their citizens, businesses and institutions with the tools, technology and training needed for AI. And while the world’s two largest economies – the United States and China – look likely to dominate the AI race, some smaller nations could start to make an impact on the global AI stage.

Against the backdrop of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is disrupting the old global business order, having the right AI strategy in place could turn out to be vital.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The World Economic Forum was the first to draw the world’s attention to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the current period of unprecedented change driven by rapid technological advances. Policies, norms and regulations have not been able to keep up with the pace of innovation, creating a growing need to fill this gap.

The Forum established the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network in 2017 to ensure that new and emerging technologies will help—not harm—humanity in the future. Headquartered in San Francisco, the network launched centres in China, India and Japan in 2018 and is rapidly establishing locally-run Affiliate Centres in many countries around the world.

The global network is working closely with partners from government, business, academia and civil society to co-design and pilot agile frameworks for governing new and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, blockchain, data policy, digital trade, drones, internet of things (IoT), precision medicine and environmental innovations.

Learn more about the groundbreaking work that the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network is doing to prepare us for the future.

Want to help us shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Contact us to find out how you can become a member or partner.

Spending on AI hit $97.8 million between 2014 and 2019.
Spending on AI between 2014 and 2019.
Image: Tortoise Intelligence

These are some of the conclusions of an analysis carried out by Tortoise Intelligence into the AI investments made by a group of 54 countries.

To date, the US has spent far more than any other country on AI. But a large part of that is made up of investments into privately owned AI businesses; it is not necessarily a sign of a coherent nationwide AI strategy. To see evidence of that, you need to look to China.

China's public investment in AI is set to far outstrip the rest of the world's
China’s public investment in AI compared tpo
Image: Tortoise Intelligence

China may be in second place right now, but its government-driven industrial policies have committed to a level of AI spending this decade that will eclipse the US. According to Tortoise, the value of China’s AI spending plans are “one-and-a-half times greater than every other country in the world – combined”. It already spends more than the US on AI research.

 Number of authors contributing to top AI journals
China’s AI spending far exceeds that of the US.
Image: Tortoise Intelligence

One of the mechanisms used by Tortoise to assess countries’ relative AI performance was to look at the number of articles published by AI academics and experts. The greatest number of these were clustered around two groups of nations: the “traditional champions” and the “rising stars”.

The traditional champions are countries such as Canada, France, Germany and the UK. These are well-established, developed economies that have made good progress on AI. They’re determined not to miss out, but they will never compete with the two superpowers.

Number of articles published by top-rated AI experts
Rising stars and traditional champions benefit from a wealth of talent.
Image: Tortoise Intelligence

The rising stars are an even more interesting collection. They won’t be found in the Top 10 of economies based on GDP. But they have a solid talent base and are demonstrating excellence in research. Singapore, Israel, Ireland and Finland are all in this group, along with Australia, Denmark and Switzerland.

These countries are likely to remain middle-ranking AI economies, but for some smaller nations like those in the Nordics, this could be an opportunity to leapfrog to a much higher spot in the global power league.

For some countries, there are infrastructure challenges that need to be addressed before a serious conversation can be had about their ability to take advantage of AI. These nascent economies – such as Kenya, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Egypt and Pakistan – could be left even further behind as wealth inequalities are compounded by a widening global digital divide.

But in India, the United Arab Emirates and other nations waking up to AI, there are encouraging signs of progress. India has a large, well-educated middle class that is very tech-savvy, not to mention several multinational technology businesses. Building on those foundations means India’s AI prowess is likely to grow rapidly. While the UAE is the only country in the world to have both a national AI strategy and appointed an AI minister.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity Act for safer European Industries and Consumers against cyberthreats”, by MEP Niebler

Environmental liability rules need revamping

Failing to see reality or deceiving the masses? The EU about poverty and social exclusion

Why #Wherearethewomen? is an $11 trillion question

Food safety: more transparency, better risk prevention

5 things we get wrong about young people, according to a US study

UN ‘regrets’ new US position on legality of Israeli settlements

The drive for quality education worldwide, faces ‘mammoth challenges’

Draghi cuts the Gordian knot of the Banking Union

At last a good price for the Greek debt!

Cédric in India

Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

Portuguese Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

Brexit: An orderly exit is in the interests of both parties

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

The eyes of Brazil and the world turn to the largest rainforest and largest biodiversity reserve on Earth #PrayForAmazonia.

Solidarity needed to overcome ‘isolated’ attacks on Venezuela refugees, migrants

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa on 16-18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

Do electronic cigarettes produce adverse health effects?

3 ways firms can master the digital challenges of the 4IR

‘Negative forces’ at work in DR Congo threaten ‘largely peaceful’ relations across Great Lakes region, says outgoing UN envoy

Eurozone banks to separate risky activities: Can they stay afloat?

European Commission statement on the adoption of the new energy lending policy of the European Investment Bank Group

OECD tells Eurozone to prepare its banks for a tsunami coming from developing countries

How energy infrastructure is shaping geopolitics in East Asia

Do academia and banks favour a new Middle Ages period?

Draghi indirectly accuses Germany of using double standards in financial issues

New SDG Advocates sign up for ‘peace, prosperity, people’ and planet, on the road to 2030

G20 LIVE: “International communities and leaders have great expectations for 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou China”, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special envoy stresses live from G20 in Antalya Turkey

Boris ‘single-handed’ threatens mainland Europe; can he afford a no-deal Brexit?

UN experts voice ‘deep concern’ over Iran’s ‘consistent pattern’ of denying life-saving medical treatment to detainees

COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of higher education

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

Access to health and guarantee of sexual and reproductive rights as a way of eradicating HIV

Indigenous peoples ‘lag behind on all social and economic indicators’: UN deputy human rights chief

Commission proposes a governance framework for the Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness

Ukraine takes EU money and runs to sign with Russia

Why trade wars have no winners

Have central banks missed the exit train?

FROM THE FIELD: A UN peacekeepers-eye view of DR Congo

Eurozone: The cycle of deficits, debts and austerity revisited

Bacteria vs. humans: how to fight in this world war?

Palestinian students ‘compelled to drop dreams because of financial cuts’

Why diversity needs your star power, as well as sponsors

Africa’s shrinking lake shows the impact of climate change on women and indigenous people

“BEUC cautions against TTIP that would seek to align EU and US chemicals management frameworks”

UN-based World Summit Award (WSA) presents its master list on digital innovation with impact on society from 24 countries

Britain’s poet laureate has created a prize to highlight poetry about the climate crisis

The future of global trade – in 7 charts

New report says better metrics could have prompted stronger response to the crisis

EU decides “in absentia” of civil society

This is why you need that second COVID-19 vaccine dose, says WHO’s Chief Scientist

Refugee crisis update: Commission is struggling alone with little help from EU or G7 leaders

Universal basic income is the answer to the inequalities exposed by COVID-19

This project in India is turning PPE into mattresses

Leveraging digital for high quality internships

These Dutch microgrid communities can supply 90% of their energy needs

UN General Assembly celebrates 20 years of promoting a culture of peace

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

Obesity rates soar due to dramatic global diet shift, says UN food agency

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s