China has committed to becoming the world leader in AI by 2030, with goals to build a domestic artificial intelligence industry worth nearly $150 billion (according to this CNN article). Prompted by these efforts, the Semantic Scholar team at the Allen AI Institute analyzed over two million academic AI papers published through the end of 2018. This analysis revealed the following:
Our analysis shows that China has already surpassed the US in published AI papers. If current trends continue, China is poised to overtake the US in the most-cited 50% of papers this year, in the most-cited 10% of papers next year, and in the 1% of most-cited papers by 2025. Citation counts are a lagging indicator of impact, so our results may understate the rising impact of AI research originating in China.
They also emphasize that US actions are making it difficult to recruit and retain foreign students and scholars, and these difficulties are likely to exacerbate the trend towards Chinese supremacy in AI research.