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【英文】人工智能芯片的竞争:科技战中的中国挑战(70页)

英文研究报告 2020-06-01 1 管理员

This special report assesses the challenges  that China is facing in developing its artificial  intelligence (AI) industry due to unprecedented  US technology export restrictions. A central  proposition is that China’s achievements in AI  lack a robust foundation in leading-edge AI chips,  and thus the country is vulnerable to externally  imposed supply disruptions. Success in AI requires  mastery of data, algorithms and computing power,  which, in turn, is determined by the performance of  AI chips. Increasing computing power that is costeffective and energy-saving is the indispensable  third component of this magic AI triangle. Research on China’s AI strategy has emphasized  China’s huge data sets as a primary advantage. It  was assumed that China could always purchase  the necessary AI chips from global semiconductor  industry leaders. Until recently, AI applications  run by leading-edge major Chinese technology  firms were powered by foreign chips, mostly  designed by a small group of top US semiconductor  firms. The outbreak of the technology war,  however, is disrupting China’s access to  advanced AI chips from the United States.1 Drawing on field research conducted in  2019, this report contributes to the literature  by addressing China’s arguably most  immediate and difficult AI challenges: → How to ensure that the country’s AI developers,  implementers and users have secure access to  specialized semiconductors that are needed  for training an algorithm and for conducting  inference with an already trained algorithm? 

In the face of US technology restrictions,  what realistic options does China have to  substitute AI chip imports from the United  States through local design and fabrication or  through imports from other non-US sources?  The report highlights China’s challenge of  competing in AI, and contrasts America’s and  China’s different AI development trajectories.  Starting much later than the United States, Chinese  universities and public research institutes have  1 As this report goes to press, the rapid spread of the coronavirus  (COVID-19), first identified in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, is further  decoupling China from international trade and technology flows. conducted a significant amount of AI research  (some of it at the frontier), but knowledge exchange  with industry remains limited. Drawing on deep  integration with America’s AI innovation system,  Chinese AI firms, in turn, have focused primarily on  capturing the booming domestic mass markets for  AI applications, investing too little in AI research.  To find out what is happening today in China’s  AI chip design, capabilities and challenges are  assessed, both for the large players (Huawei,  Alibaba and Baidu) and for a small group of AI chip  “unicorns.” The report concludes with implications  for China’s future AI chip development.

【英文】人工智能芯片的竞争:科技战中的中国挑战(70页)

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