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ETH · 5w

Is Europe Playing the USA v China Tech Race?

There is a chart that shows nothing happens for millennials, despite the invention of monarchy, democracy, and even the rule of law.

Then suddenly, the flat line has a massive spike. Everything changes and quickly, and it does so because the industrial revolution had arrived.

Some suggest we are on the brink of another one. A tech revolution that combines a number of still very new technologies which effectively amount to creating robotic labour.

Cars are artificial intelligence, someone said, and maybe that’s a good way of understanding what is meant by this misleading label of ai.

Through mechanics a car is made to move under the orders of a human to perform a specific and limited task way better than a human can.

The car doesn’t think, although it kind of does because it “knows” when you press the breaks or when you change the gear.

Much of this is becoming digital, with cars now given the ability to “know” when to change the gears or press the breaks by themselves.

All of this would have not been possible without wifi infrastructure, sensors, and machine learning among other new technologies.

The Race

Some claim there are only nine companies in the world playing in artificial intelligence, six American and three Chinese.

There’s Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Amazon and Facebook. We’d add at least Twitter, and many others.

While the Chinese ones are dubbed BAT for Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, although Ant Financial should be there somewhere and some others.

The claim is these nine companies are making decisions on what bots should choose or decide with those bot choices affecting us all because ai will be all pervasive.

The focus here however is far too narrow and the narrative a bit lazy because it zooms in too much on too few companies and on a very specific application of bot management.

The bots here have a very specific task and it amounts to trying to figur...

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