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#AI@Work: Speed of Adoption

China is far ahead in this game. Partly because they never adopted credit cards and partly because they didn’t have the infrastructure that exists in Western countries. The medical systems, financial systems and shopping systems are ripe for jumping right into mobile phone apps. Using apps for everything provides more data. More data produces more insight for AI. AI companies can then tailor their products to the user.

There is a great deal of controversy over intellectual property theft between China and the U.S. But it’s a little late for that. The horse has left the barn. Commercial adoption of AI is here. China has proven that mobile apps can replace a great deal of the infrastructure we currently have in place. China has been very good at exploring and exploiting the possibilities of AI. The cultural attitude of “if it works copy it” has created a fiercely competitive environment. China excels at taking what works and quickly adapting it to new markets or tweaking it to make it better. If a Chinese company moves quickly it survives and grows, if it is slow to adapt it dies. Agility is the key to surviving.

The deployment of AI comes with considerable risk. China also has a strong government investment in AI. They have a very different attitude toward change in infrastructure and privacy issues. This risk is felt in many areas and one of the most significant is personal privacy. AI researchers can’t do research on cancer without available patient records, and autonomous vehicles can’t function without road sensors. The Chinese government has sent the signal to local governments to make the changes necessary to adopt AI. China has made AI a top priority.

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