China has already pointed to the fences when it comes to artificial intelligence. Government officials announced plans to become the world leader in AI by 2025. They see this race as not only critical to being a world power, both economically and militarily, but also quite achievable for a country with a lot of human capital and the ability to focus its efforts based on the needs of the communist party.
A country like China, a more totalitarian regime, will perform better than the democratic countries. We have a lot of problems gathering big data because of the privacy issue. China doesn’t have such an issue. So obviously they have some advantage.
The partnership is so far only a memorandum of understanding so it is important to not overstate Microsoft’s intentions. But Microsoft, like China, is chasing after its innovative competitors for their piece of the AI prize. Creating takes a lot of talent and now it looks like China will have even more of it.