How new technologies decide economic dominance

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The rivalry between powers is played out today, primarily in the field of artificial intelligence, patents and education. The extraction of the palm in these areas brings it closer to obtaining the status of a global hegemon.

According to the Center for Data Innovation report by Daniel Castro, Michael McLaulin and Elin Chivot, artificial intelligence (AI) not only increases productivity and competitiveness, but also better protects national security. Sometimes he serves the common good – for example, diagnosing diseases (and that is no less effective than doctors). However, sometimes AI rivalry is a zero-sum game. This situation occurs, for example, in military use.

The USA received 44.2 points out of 100 possible. Second place went to China with a score of 32.3. Europeans have nothing to be proud of – they took third place with a score of 23.5 points.

The US leads in talent, research, development, and equipment. China dominates the adaptation and data category. The authors of the report list 4 reasons why the United States holds the lead:

– there are the most start-ups using artificial intelligence and receiving the most private funds;

– lead in terms of the development of traditional semiconductors and computer chips using AI;

– it is there that the best scientific texts related to artificial intelligence are However, this is largely the result of importing talent from abroad.

However, the report’s authors argue that “China has outpaced the EU and appears to be rapidly catching up with the US.” Gregory K. Allen of the Center for New American Security believes that China is not going to give up on AI. The plans of the Chinese Ministry of Education for 2018 include, in particular:


– creation of 50 world-class materials for AI research;

– creation of 50 thematic online courses and

– 50 research institutions, faculties and research centers dedicated to AI.

What’s more, the Chinese ministry is also launching a 5-year plan to train 500 AI instructors and 5,000 world-class students.

Technology in the field of economics

The Chinese authorities, led by Xi Jinping, are well aware that they should strive for leadership in the field of artificial intelligence and independence from international technology.

In July 2017, The New York Times reported that Beijing had announced a plan to take over as the world leader in AI before 2030. According to the State Council program, the country should build its own AI industry worth at least $150 billion.

Multibillion-dollar investments in research are called upon to help this. The broadly planned program will include support for agriculture, surveillance camera techniques, Internet censorship, and future crime prediction. The plan calls for China to equal the United States in 2020, make breakthrough discoveries in 2025, and become “the world’s best center of artificial intelligence innovation” in 2030.

This could be a serious concern, as the country is already running an Orwellian-spirited social credit program that recognizes points for pro-social actions and demerits for actions that are discouraged by the authorities. A poor result can seriously complicate daily life.

Patent competition is a matter of today’s economy, in which the number of patents is growing at lightning speed. If in 1990 there were 406,582 patents recognized worldwide, then in 2018 there were no less than 1,422,800. The mentioned tripling is the result of the development of digital communication and modern technologies, among which the growth of patents is the most significant, says Erin Doffing on the pages of the Statista website.

One of them, and probably the most reliable, is the count of all applications filed in a given country. In 2019, 1,401,000 were filed in China. “This is 9.1% less than in 2018, but still more than twice as many as in the United States,” Aaron Lininger wrote in the National Law Review “. “This shows the dynamics of the local economy, but gives little compared to other states, since in each of them the rules for recognizing patents are different,” notes China Power, an analytical website.

The best criteria for comparison are the so-called triadic patents

The purpose of this costly and complex procedure (sometimes lasting 5-6 years) is to obtain protection in several countries at the same time. Back in 2016, the Chinese were not in the best position in this statistics either (6.9% of all applications). The share of the United States was 26.1%, and the Japanese – 32.2%. From the 90s of the XX century. The United States received 10,000 already confirmed patents, while China exceeded 2,000 in 2013 alone.

The high position of Americans and Japanese in the ranking may stem from the fact that 2 out of 3 offices that recognize triadic patents are located in these countries. It is also worth noting applications filed in the system created under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which provides the possibility of filing patent applications in several countries at the same time. China entered into the agreement in 1994.

As Francis Gurry, director of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), points out, in 1999 the organization received 276 patent applications from China. In 2019, this number increased more than 200 times to 58,900.

As a result, in 2019, China overtook the United States (which has been in first place since the organization began its work, that is, since 1967). Harry also notes the long-term trend of the source of innovation moving eastward. Grant applications from Asia already account for more than half of all applications worldwide.

If we compare individual firms, since 2017, Chinese Huawei has consistently ranked first among the companies submitting the most applications. In 2019, South Korean Samsung was in second place, and the American company Qualcomm Inc. received the bronze medal, just behind the podium (4th place) was the Chinese company Guang Dong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications of China (1,927). The top ten companies include 4 Chinese firms and only one American (mentioned by Qualcomm).

However, the honor of Americans is saved a little by educational institutions. Here, in the top ten submitting the most applications are 5 American and only 4 Chinese universities. The University of California (470) is in the lead, Tsinghua University is second (265), Shenzhen University is third (247), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is fourth (230), according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.