The controversial visit of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan and its consequences it marked the latest flash point in simmering geopolitical tensions between China and the United States, and is only rapidly exacerbating bilateral competition. While the Chinese military’s recent show of force across the Taiwan Strait served to showcase the great strides in capabilities it has made since the previous Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1995-96, military and economic competition are only the most obvious facets. in a larger fight. for supremacy in a changing global order.
Arguably, the recent disclosure of massive infrastructure investment plans by both Beijing and Washington is where the most serious fight takes place, due to the far-reaching implications associated with these programs. They are evidence that both countries are seeking to emerge from challenging fiscal climates, but their success will also serve to signal the superiority of their respective political and economic governance systems and lay the groundwork for global dominance for decades to come.
It is not surprising then that Chinese President Xi Jinping wants aim higher than US President Joe Biden.
It is also noteworthy that the bulk of US funding is earmarked for overdue maintenance of existing programs, with very little dedicated to investing in cutting-edge innovations. Artificial intelligence (AI) has shown great promise in solutions that revolutionize sectors such as transportation, energy, and more. With China well-positioned to take advantage of these potentially lucrative innovations, Washington must ensure that it harnesses AI in its infrastructure plans for the future.
Of course, both countries are currently in rough waters. Biden earlier this year foretold that US growth could overtake China’s for the first time since 1976, despite its Treasury trying to stifle rumors that the United States could declare a recession after two consecutive quarterly recessions. In China, more COVID-19 lockdowns made the economy shrink by 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2022 and Xi’s insistence that GDP will rise 5.5 percent by the end of the year seems overly optimistic.
However, Beijing has taken more steps to stop its decline than the United States. Both powers have published historic proposals for infrastructure investment in the last 12 months, although the 2.3 trillion dollars that China plans to spend in 2022 alone is more than double what $1.1 trillion Washington will dole out over the next five years. As much as take advantage of state banks To boost its coffers, China is funneling investment into more progressive solutions than the United States, where more than half of the allocated amount is slated to repair ailing infrastructure projects that should have been completed years ago. Thus, Washington is catching up rather than innovating, as in the case of AI.
Stanford University recently placed China is among the world’s top two countries in “AI vibrancy,” noting that it has produced a third of the world’s scholarly articles and citations on the subject, as well as raised a fifth of the world’s private capital to develop it. McKinsey predicts that AI could add some $600 billion to China’s economy by 2030, with $335 billion of that coming from autonomous driving alone.
China is also pushing the smart capabilities of the infrastructure surrounding road transport. Implementation of Hikvision’s AI-powered traffic management system in Xi’an has seen traffic performance jump 10 percent as travel times were reduced by 12 percent. On the other hand, the Alibaba City Brain system, in situ in 23 cities across the country, has seen Hangzhou fall from the fifth most congested city in China to 57th. With regard to train travel, the recently completed Hangzhou-Shaoxing-Taizhou high-speed railway has Fully integrated AI in your operations, enabling optimal performance, fewer accidents, and electricity savings of up to 30 percent.
To be fair, the United States has not stood idly by. the recent collaboration between NASDAQ-indexed Remark Holdings and Florida train operator Brightline employs AI to detect and prevent track intrusion on Brightline’s rail network. The scale remains limited, but it may well serve to wake up private companies and security authorities to the potential uses of AI in daily life.
In fact, the United States is already much further along in the energy sector in terms of AI implementation. The Department of Energy recently established an Advanced AI Council, in charge of coordinating the country’s efforts in the discipline and achieving its full potential. The private sector is also stepping up, with virtual power plant (VPP) provider AutoGrid using its technological clout to create a 400kWh residential VPP battery in Southern California. AutoGrid, already responsible for managing, storing, and distributing some 600 MW of electricity in 15 countries, now brings its experience and expertise in AI-managed power grids to the United States.
This demonstrates that US leaders have understood the role of AI in network security, given the anticipated increase in demand for the adoption of the Internet of Things and electric cars, as well as the challenges related to The renewable energies. Network operators are adopting AI to resolve distribution and stability issues, on the basis that a guaranteed electricity supply is essential to move towards a sustainable economic model. China has already demonstrated this, as its AI-controlled power grid can retrieve of a blackout in just three seconds.
It is initiatives like these, driven by the private sector, that should provide the main focus of major infrastructure bills like the one passed in Washington last August. Unfortunately, less than half of the headline figure of $1.1 trillion is actually new spending. The fact that America’s roads, bridges, and pipelines are finally getting the attention they’ve required for decades is certainly welcome news. However, the bill still represents a missed opportunity, especially when viewed in context (and contrast) with its Chinese counterpart.
By prioritizing AI and other forward-thinking innovations in its investment plans, Beijing has signaled its intention to lay strong foundations for future success that will collide with US global interests if the US is to harbor ambitious ambitions. serious about overtaking its old economic rival, whether this year or any year on the horizon, it must invest to innovate, not catch up.