China’s Masses Of Data Give It An Edge In AI—But They May Not Forever

Last Thursday, MIT hosted a celebration for the new Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, a $1 billion effort to create an interdisciplinary hub of AI research. During an onstage conversation between Schwarzman, the CEO and cofounder of investment firm Blackstone, and the Institute’s president,Rafael Reif, Schwarzman noted, as he has before, that his leading motivation for donating the first $350 million to the college was to give the US a competitive boost in the face of China’s coordinated national AI strategy.

That prompted a series of questions about the technological race between the countries. They essentially boiled down to this: When it comes to AI, more data is better, because it is a brute-force situation. How can the US outcompete China when the latter has far more people and the former cares more about data privacy? Is it, in other words, just a lost cause for the US to try to “win”?

Here was Reif’s response: “That is the state of the art today—that you need tons of data to teach a machine.” He added, “State of the art changes with research.” READ MORE ON: MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW

CultureYusra Hamid