A Brief Examination of Chinese Government Expenditures on Artificial Intelligence R & D

February, 2020
IDA document: D-12068
FFRDC: Science and Technology Policy Institute
Type: Documents
Thomas J. Colvin, Irina Liu, Talla F. Babou, and Gifford J. Wong See more authors
Western analysts are making comparisons between Chinese and U.S. Federal expenditures in artificial intelligence (AI); however, we are unaware of any persuasive discussion about whether such comparisons are credible. Information in Chinese government documents and reported in the Chinese media may be too poorly defined—in terms of timing, sources, and purpose—to support credible comparisons between U.S. Federal and Chinese central government expenditures on non-defense AI research and development (R&D). This document investigates publicly announced Chinese non-defense AI expenditures made through four funding mechanisms and assesses the comparability of each expenditure with U.S. Federal expenditures on non-defense AI R&D.