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Forward Thinking

Forward Thinking on China and artificial intelligence with Jeffrey Ding

Jun 23, 2021
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32:17
In this episode of Forward Thinking, host Michael Chui speaks with Jeffrey Ding, researcher and founder of the ChinAI newsletter, about information asymmetry in artificial intelligence between China and the West. They cover why data may not be like oil, the Chinese industry adage on products, platforms, and standards, “unsexy AI” and more.

There’s a lot of talk right now about artificial intelligence, or AI, and what it means for global competition. Today’s conversation features somebody you probably don’t know yet but probably should. He’s famous in certain corners of the internet but his work, it turns out, is relevant everywhere. MGI research suggests that while there’s AI happening all around the world, there are two places where the most AI development is taking place, and it’s the US and China.

What’s interesting about that is that while a lot of the Chinese AI developers are reading and even coauthoring English-language papers, very few Western AI practitioners are able to keep up with the flow of information in the Chinese language, even when a lot of it is published openly. It’s almost like a one-way mirror—and this asymmetry might seem strange in a field where a lot of the work is openly available on the internet. But our guest, Jeffrey Ding, has been helping to make sure more AI information flows back from China to the West.

This episode’s guest, Jeffrey Ding, is a PhD Candidate in international relations at the University of Oxford and a pre-doctoral fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, sponsored by Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. He is also a research affiliate with the Centre for the Governance of AI at the University of Oxford.

This conversation was recorded in March 2021. To read a transcript of this episode, visit: https://mck.co/forwardthinking

Follow @McKinsey_MGI on Twitter and the McKinsey Global Institute on LinkedIn for more.


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