China leads the world in gen AI adoption but falls behind in full implementation

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According to a new survey by SAS and Coleman Parkes Research, China is leading the world in the usage and investment in generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology, according to a new survey from SAS and Coleman Parkes Research. 

On July 9, the United States-based AI and analytics software company revealed data from a survey of 1,600 decision-makers across various global industries. The survey showed that 83% of respondents in China admitted to using generative AI technology.

In the United Kingdom, 70% of respondents have adopted generative AI, while in the United States, a global leader in the development of high-powered AI models, the adoption rate is 65%.

The global average hovered around 54% primarily in industries such as banking, insurance, healthcare, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail and energy.

Adoption not implementation

Stephen Saw, the managing director at Coleman Parkes said that China’s adoption rates don’t “necessarily equate to effective implementation or better returns.”

Although China is a leader in the use of certain technologies, it does not dominate the field of fully implemented generative AI. In this area, organizations in the U.S. lead with 24%, compared to 19% in China and 11% in the U.K.

Bryan Harris, the executive vice president and chief technology officer at SAS, said that any new technology goes through a “discover phase,” during which organizations must separate hype from reality in order to understand how to best implement it.

He said that point has been reached in the generative AI cycle.

“As we exit the hype cycle, it is now about purposefully implementing and delivering repeatable and trusted business results from GenAI.”

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The country still faces major restrictions on access to the technology created in the U.S. or by U.S.-based companies, like high-power semiconductor chips produced by the global leader Nvidia.

China bullish on AI

Nonetheless, data shows that China continues to be extremely bullish on AI. A report from the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization, which had China in first place in terms of filing generative AI-related patents.

In the 10 years between 2014 and 2023, the country filed over 38,000 patents related to technology, whereas the U.S filed a mere 6,276.

Back in May, Cointelegraph reported that four Chinese startups centered around generative AI have reached unicorn status, each surpassing $1 billion in valuation.

China has also implemented generative AI into its e-payments application AliPay, which can reportedly also detect when users are balding.

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