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China takes the lead in global generative AI adoption

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A recent survey highlights China’s forefront position in the global adoption of generative AI, reflecting the country’s significant advancements in this technology since the global launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022.

Artificial intelligence (AI) - abstract artistic interpretation.
Artificial intelligence (AI) – abstract artistic interpretation. Image credit: geralt via Pixabay, free license

Conducted by U.S. AI and analytics software firm SAS in collaboration with Coleman Parkes Research, the survey polled 1,600 industry decision-makers worldwide. An impressive 83% of Chinese respondents reported utilizing generative AI, the highest rate among the 16 surveyed countries and regions. By comparison, 65% of U.S. respondents and a global average of 54% indicated similar usage.

The survey included various sectors, including banking, insurance, healthcare, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, and energy. The findings emphasize China’s rapid strides in generative AI, spurred by the launch of ChatGPT by Microsoft-backed OpenAI in November 2022. This milestone triggered numerous Chinese companies to develop their own generative AI technologies.

A report from the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization also shows China’s leading role in the generative AI patent arena, with over 38,000 patents filed between 2014 and 2023, vastly outnumbering the 6,276 filed by the United States in the same period. Despite restrictions on many leading international generative AI providers, such as OpenAI, within China, the country has cultivated a robust domestic industry. Major tech firms like ByteDance and emerging startups such as Zhipu are among the key players.

The enterprise adoption of generative AI in China is anticipated to accelerate, driven by competitive pricing that is likely to reduce the costs of large language model services for businesses. The SAS report also identified China as the global leader in continuous automated monitoring (CAM), a controversial but prevalent application of generative AI tools. CAM technology enables extensive data collection and analysis on user activities, behaviors, and communications, raising significant privacy concerns due to the lack of user awareness regarding the data’s extent and usage.

Written by Vytautas Valinskas





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