https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/l ... tAnchor051Investment in AI development
131.A number of countries are currently investing significant sums in AI research and development, with varying degrees of state support and co-ordination. Estimating the size of these investments across the public and private sectors is difficult, but according to Goldman Sachs, between the first quarter of 2012 and the second quarter of 2016, the United States invested approximately $18.2 billion in AI, compared with $2.6 billion by China, and $850 million in the UK, the third highest investment by a country in this period.169 While the current United States administration appears to have no national-level AI strategy, individual government departments are continuing to invest in AI, with the Department of Defense, for example, spending approximately $2.5 billion on AI in 2017.170 Meanwhile, China has explicitly committed itself to becoming a world leader in AI by 2030, and aims to have grown its AI ecosystem to $150 billion by then.171
Huh. That's a large discrepancy! I'm sure it's narrowed since 2016.
(As an aside, the Goldman Sachs report cited for these figures says:
"Exhibit 5: China has the second-biggest AI ecosystem after the US
AI funding (between 1Q12 and 2Q16), number of patents and number of companies comparison in different counties, "
so whatever "AI funding" is, is what is being compared. I think they're talking R&D spend by individual companies, but it's hard to tell.)
Probably also significant the U.S. has apparently almost 3,000 companies in AI, whereas UK has about 400.