Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > China’s Artificial Intelligence Innovation

Electronic data

  • 2020_11_30_accepted_version (1)

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Zeng, J. (2021), China’s Artificial Intelligence Innovation: A Top‐Down National Command Approach?. Global Policy. doi: 10.1111/1758-5899.12914 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jpim.12206/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

    Accepted author manuscript, 332 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 23/01/23

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Links

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

China’s Artificial Intelligence Innovation: A Top-Down National Command Approach?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/05/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Global Policy
Issue number3
Volume12
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)399-409
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/01/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

China’s open embracing of the age of artificial intelligence (AI) has attracted considerable academic and media attention. Many argue that China has taken advantage of its national approach to contest for AI supremacy and geopolitical dominance. The relevant analyses assume China’s AI plans as being Beijing’s coherent top‐down geopolitically driven national strategy, reflecting Chinese leaders’ global ambitions. This article argues that these views are mistaken. It argues that China’s AI plans are primarily driven by contestation and the struggle for resources among domestic stakeholders who are economically motivated and have little awareness of the bigger geopolitical picture. Instead of a top‐down command approach, China’s national AI plan is an upgrade of existing local AI initiatives to the national level, reflecting a bottom‐up development. This article suggests that the existing analyses vastly exaggerate: (1) Beijing’s capacity to coordinate domestic capital and actors towards a unified, specific strategic objective; and (2) the extent of China’s AI advancement and its geopolitical threat, triggering unnecessary anxiety among China’s near competitors.

Bibliographic note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Zeng, J. (2021), China’s Artificial Intelligence Innovation: A Top‐Down National Command Approach?. Global Policy. doi: 10.1111/1758-5899.12914 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jpim.12206/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.