If the development of artificial intelligence is an arms race, then China wants to become the world’s unchallenged AI superpower, according to the Financial Times. While the National Science Foundation in the US has no increase in funding this year, China has promised to “vigorously use governmental and social capital” to dominate the industry. US and Chinese tech companies alike are ploughing money and talent into AI, but Beijing’s blueprint for investing in artificial intelligence – creating a $150bn industry by 2030 – underlines its desire to beat the US. While industrial policy is no guarantee of success – contrary to aims, China has failed so far to create global champions in semiconductors or cars – few are dismissing Beijing’s clout in AI, the ability of machines to mimic human thinking and carry out tasks ranging from targeting advertisements to playing Go. “2030 is too pessimistic,” says Kai-Fu Lee, a veteran of Microsoft Research and Google who now runs Beijing venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures.