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China's AI focus will leave US in the dust, says top university professor

Tsinghua University 'already rivals MIT' in number of US patents granted

China AI startups like SenseTime, which is focused on facial recognition, have been raising large sums in recent months   © Reuters

TOKYO -- China is leading the global race for supremacy in artificial intelligence and financial technologies, a professor at one of the country's top universities said, as the private and public sectors join forces to capture the next big waves of innovation and pump vast resources into the industry.

"Research institutes, universities, private companies and the government all working together in a broad area ... I haven't seen anything like it," Steven White, an associate professor at Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management, said during a recent interview in Tokyo. "China is committed to becoming leader in AI, and the U.S. will lose because they don't have the resources." 

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