Artificial intelligence: the dominance of the US, China and the UK

The United States and China have promoted research on Artificial Intelligence.

Broadly speaking, the field encompasses many methodologies and areas of emphasis, such as machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, robotics, machine/computer vision (image processing), and natural language processing.

To begin with, according to a UNCTAD report, during the period 1996-2018, there were 403,596 publications related to Artificial Intelligence, led by the United States (73,773), China (52,837) and the United Kingdom (22,912).

The top three affiliations were the Chinese Academy of Sciences (3,414 / China), Carnegie Mellon University (2,619 / United States), and the CNRS Center National de la Recherche Scientifique (2,510 / France).

On the other hand, during the same period (1996-2018), 116,600 patents were registered and the three main nationalities of the assignees were the United States (28,963), China (23,298) and Germany (12,056).

Meanwhile, the three main current owners were BASF (1,961 / Germany), Bayer (1,416 / Germany) and Siemens (1,320 / Germany).

Artificial intelligence

More generally, based on an analysis by the US Congress, it has applications in a variety of sectors, including the following examples:

  • Transportation: autonomous cars, adaptive traffic management to reduce waiting times and emissions.
  • Medical care: specific diagnoses and treatments.
  • Education: digital tutors.
  • Agriculture: control of soil moisture and selective irrigation of crops.
  • Finance: early detection of unusual market manipulation and anomalous trading.
  • Law: automatic analysis of the history of legal cases.
  • Manufacturing: automated delivery, improving worker safety and productivity through human-machine teamwork.
  • Cybersecurity: autonomous detection and decision making to improve reaction times to threats.
  • Defense: autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons systems.
  • Space exploration: autonomy of the spaceship and the rover.
  • AI for Social Good: Using AI to address pervasive social challenges, for example, to monitor wildlife populations, target anti-poaching efforts, and identify intervention zones for poverty reduction efforts.


US companies are the leading providers of artificial intelligence services.

At the same time, according to UNCTAD, the main commonly referenced service providers include Alphabet, including its affiliates such as Google and DeepMind, Amazon, Apple, IBM and Microsoft.

The main users of services, measured by spending on Artificial Intelligence, are the retail, banking and discrete manufacturing sectors.

AI-related jobs on a job-related search engine worldwide increased by almost 100% between June 2015 and June 2018.

A study spanning 15 countries conducted in 2019 found that China was home to the most AI professionals, with 12,113 jobs followed by the United States (7,465) and Japan (3,369).

The software engineer and the data scientist are the two most demanded Artificial Intelligence job categories.


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