China was a world leader in science and technology until the early years of the last imperial dynasty – Qing Dynasty. Chinese discoveries and Chinese innovations such as papermaking, printing, the compass, and gunpowder (the Four Great Inventions) contributed to the economic development in Asia and Europe. China then lost its leadership position in innovation. In the last few decades, China is moving back as a leader in deployment of various technologies on a grand scale. Whether they have created the technologies themselves or misappropriated the basis intellectual properties (IP) from the US and other countries – which appears to be a forgone conclusion in many cases – is a trade and legal issue certainly. Their fast paced application of the technologies to so many consumer, business and military use cases has been amazing. AI , robotics and certainly voice and facial recognition are but a few of the technologies where they are moving forward with deployment in all aspects of life in China. Certainly they are moving faster – or so it would appear – in actual deployments.
However they come by the IP, their faster paced deployment and innovative uses of the technologies may well be challenging the US’s leadership role in technologies – deployment at least. Of most concern may well be China’s use of AI and other technologies in terms of military applications.