NATALIA FALCHI WRITES — China’s technological advancement and dedication to innovative Artificial Intelligence systems is growing rapidly and robustly. Not only does this affect China socially, economically, and politically, but it affects the entire globe.

In 2017, China’s ambition to become more advanced in the realm of Artificial Intelligence intensified dramatically. The State Council of the People’s Republic of China (also known as the Central People’s Government) published a New Generation AI Development Plan (here you can find the original document translated to English). Essentially, this document set up a multifaceted strategy to meet the government and society’s technological development goals. Their primary goal was to develop the same level of Artificial Intelligence capacity as competing nations, including the United States. But the first goal included advancing the AI industry to be worth at least 150 billion RMB (Ren Min Bi) by 2020.

The document’s second goal was to become the dominant country in Artificial Intelligence breakthroughs and discoveries, and to grow the AI industry value to at least 400 billion RMB (Ren Min Bi) by 2025. Lastly, the document presented its goal of becoming the most significant AI superpower in the world, with a worth of at least 1000 billion RMB (Ren Min Bi) by the year 2030.

These goals, laid out in the New Generation AI Development Plan in 2017, have served as a catalyst for further investment in AI technologies and have gained the attention of other contesting nations, including the United States.

What does this mean for jobs and our economy? We humans can easily be replaced by robotic technology and artificial intelligence that do not require health benefits, salaries, HR departments, and other social and employee services and costs.

One may well be excited by technological breakthroughs and innovations concerning Artificial Intelligence, and the ways in which that could improve industry sectors’ productivity and innovation. On the contrary, one could also be horrified by the jobs, industries, and societies that Artificial Intelligence could radically change if not destroy. How will the world adapt to such major changes in the near future- and to China’s lead in the AI industry? Who will win, and who will lose?

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