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In a key AI metric, China is ahead of the United States: talent| GuyWhoKnowsThings

When it comes to the artificial intelligence that powers chatbots like ChatGPT, China lags behind the United States. But when it comes to training the scientists behind a new generation of humanoid technologies, China is taking the lead.

New research shows that by some metrics, China has eclipsed the United States as the largest producer of AI talent, with the country producing nearly half of the world's top AI researchers. By contrast, about 18 percent come from U.S. colleges. according to the studyof MacroPolo, a think tank run by the Paulson Institute, which promotes constructive ties between the United States and China.

The results show a jump for China, which produced about a third of the greatest talent in the world three years earlier. The United States, on the other hand, remained largely the same. The research builds on the background of researchers whose papers were published at the 2022 Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems. NeurIPS, as it is known, focuses on advances in Neural networksthat have anchored recent developments in generative AI

The talent imbalance has been building for the better part of a decade. For much of the 2010s, the United States benefited as large numbers of China's top minds moved to American universities to complete their doctorates. Most of them stayed in the United States. But research shows that the trend has also begun to change, with a growing number of Chinese researchers remaining in China.

What happens in the coming years could be pivotal as China and the United States compete for primacy in AI, a technology that can potentially increase productivity, strengthen industries and drive innovation, making researchers one of the most geopolitical groups. Most important in the world. .

Generative AI has captured the tech industry in Silicon Valley and China, sparking a funding and investment frenzy. The boom has been led by American tech giants like Google and startups like OpenAI. That could attract Chinese researchers, although rising tensions between Beijing and Washington could also deter some, experts said.

(The New York Times has defendant OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement of news content related to AI systems).

China has nurtured so much AI talent in part because it invested heavily in AI education. Since 2018, the country has added more than 2,000 university AI programs, with more than 300 at its most selective universities, said Damien Ma, managing director of MacroPolo, although he noted that the programs were not heavily focused on the technology that had driven the developments. progress. by chatbots like ChatGPT.

“Many of the programs are about AI applications in industry and manufacturing, not so much about the generative AI that has come to dominate the American AI industry right now,” he said.

While the United States has pioneered advances in AI, more recently with the amazing human abilities of chatbotsan important part of that work was carried out by researchers trained in China.

According to the research, researchers originating from China now represent 38 percent of top AI researchers working in the United States, with Americans accounting for 37 percent. Three years earlier, Chinese made up 27 percent of the top talent working in the United States, compared with 31 percent of Americans.

“The data shows how critical China-born researchers are to the United States for AI competitiveness,” said Matt Sheehan, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who studies Chinese AI.

He added that the data seemed to show that the United States remained attractive. “We are the global leader in AI because we continue to attract and retain talent from around the world, but especially from China,” he said.

Pieter Abbeel, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and founder of covariantan artificial intelligence and robotics startup, said working alongside large numbers of Chinese researchers was taken for granted within major American companies and universities.

“It's just a natural situation,” he said.

In the past, US defense officials were not overly concerned about AI talent flows from China, partly because many of the biggest AI projects did not deal with classified data and partly because they reasoned that it was better to have the best minds. available. The fact that much of the leading research in AI is published openly also deterred concerns.

Despite bans introduced by the Trump administration that prohibit entry to the United States for students from some military-linked universities in China and a relative slowdown in the flow of Chinese students to the country during Covid, the research showed that large numbers of the most promising AI minds continued to come to the United States to study.

But this month, a Chinese national who was an engineer at Google was accused of trying to transfer artificial intelligence technology (including a critical microchip architecture) to a Beijing-based company that secretly paid himaccording to a federal indictment.

The substantial number of Chinese AI researchers working in the United States now presents a conundrum for policymakers who want to counter Chinese espionage without discouraging the continued flow of top Chinese computer engineers to the United States, according to experts focused on American competitiveness.

“Chinese academics are almost leading the way in the field of AI,” said Subbarao Kambhampati, an AI professor and researcher at Arizona State University. If policymakers try to prevent Chinese citizens from conducting research in the United States, he said, they are “shooting themselves in the foot.”

The record of US authorities is mixed. A Trump administration policy intended to stop Since then, Chinese industrial espionage and intellectual property theft have been criticized for wrongly prosecuting several professors. These programs, Chinese immigrants said, have encouraged some to stay in China.

For now, the research showed, most Chinese who complete doctorates in the United States remain in the country, helping to make it the global center of the AI ​​world. Still, the United States' lead has begun to decline, to home to about 42 percent of the world's top talent, down from 59 percent three years ago, according to the research.

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