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China fast catching up with US in artificial intelligence: Expert

Well-known AI expert Kai-Fu Lee speaking at a conference in Singapore yesterday. While China has been known to create "copycat" products, it has also built products in the last five years that are worthy of being copied, he said.
Well-known AI expert Kai-Fu Lee speaking at a conference in Singapore yesterday. While China has been known to create "copycat" products, it has also built products in the last five years that are worthy of being copied, he said.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

The United States might have many more researchers working in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), but China is fast catching up and will surpass America slightly in the competition, said well-known AI expert Kai-Fu Lee, emphasising that China's growing capabilities deserve attention.

Though the US remains ahead in the field of AI research, China's model is to develop products that cannot be copied, and in the age of AI, its asset is its data, he said, forewarning that dramatic changes could happen much sooner than the world expects.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2018, with the headline 'China fast catching up with US in artificial intelligence: Expert'. Print Edition | Subscribe