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12 November, 2021updated 18 Nov 2021 17:56

AI week: The robot revolution is here, but have you noticed?

Artificial intelligence now permeates all levels of our lives, often without us noticing, although an escalation of tensions between the US and China over AI superiority may change that.

By Richard Gardham

Across the GlobalData network this week, as well as on Investment Monitor, we have been covering the topic of artificial intelligence, or AI. The topic has gone from existing mainly in dystopian science fiction works to being ever-present in our lives over the past few decades, often without us noticing. From the birthday present we order for our nephews or nieces to the pizza being delivered to our door, there is a strong chance that AI has played a role somewhere. Its proponents will point to the costs saved and increased efficiency as evidence of AI’s value to society; critics will ponder how many human jobs have been taken by the AI we use, or how far this digital experience invades a customer’s privacy.

Ethics aside, the battle for AI supremacy on a global level is a fierce one, with superpowers the US and China at the forefront. Eyebrows were raised in September when the Pentagon’s first chief software officer, Nicholas Chaillan, resigned in protest at what he described as the US’s failure to keep up with China’s growing AI capabilities. China’s route to becoming a global AI powerhouse is picked up by Ben van der Merwe in his weekly data column, while Sebastian Shehadi looks at how AI warfare is coming – essentially between the US and China – and warns that businesses must be prepared for this escalating tension.

The impact of AI on investors and businesses – and not just the conflict it may bring – is something that we have covered in depth on Investment Monitor. Our AI Index, compiled by Naomi Davies, shows that the US is way out in front when it comes to investor friendliness within the AI space. The country is a clear winner in our ranking, ahead of Singapore, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Japan. China finishes way down the list, in 20th position, scoring poorly in areas such as ICT regulatory environment, software spending as a percentage of GDP and intellectual property receipts as a percentage of total trade. Meanwhile, Sofia Karadima analyses at how AI hubs are emerging as key locations for financial services investors looking to start or expand their business in new destinations.

On a company level, Nicu Calcea uses GlobalData research figures to identify the 12 global leaders in AI. From Amazon’s embrace of all things AI, to Johnson & Johnson’s investment in surgical robotic platform Ottava, to Domino’s use of AI to improve the quality of its pizzas, the message is clear: AI is influencing your life in ways you are completely unaware of. The robots might end up taking over the world, but if they bring tasty pizza with them, preferably eradicating pineapple as a topping of choice, then the AI revolution may come with certain benefits.

Elsewhere on the GlobalData network

Our sister site Energy Monitor looks into how AI can make the oil and gas industries a little less dirty, while Just Style describes how sewbots and automation in apparel are not leading to nearshoring and shorter supply chains in developed countries yet, but experts have said that day may come. The shipping container crisis has made headlines all over the world, and Ship Technology ponders if AI can resolve this issue, while Retail Banker International looks at how Canada’s major banks are optimising AI to drive growth and enhance the customer experience.

Verdict has been covering AI in great depth, taking in topics such as its impact on banking, the manner in which Alibaba is leading China’s AI charge, the use of AI to solve some of Japan’s ageing problems, the AI obsession for business insiders and the six challengers to Big Tech’s AI supremacy. Meanwhile, Pharmaceutical Technology offers a Q&A with the CEO and chief technology officer of AION Labs, an innovation hub dedicated to encouraging new and innovative applications for AI and computational science in drug discovery and development.

This article forms part of GlobalData’s AI week. For other articles in the series, please visit:

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