No, it is not. China’s investment in modern computing, along with favorable treatment of technology companies based there, is helping it produce some companies that are about as innovative as equivalent companies in the technology sector produced in other countries around the world. The Chinese are unique in that whenever they talk about the companies specializing in various aspects of modern computing in their technology sector they use the term ‘artificial intelligence’ in every sentence rather than every other sentence which is more typical in the rest of the developed world. Saying the words artificial intelligence more than any other country, however, does not make it any more real then it is in any other country, which is to say, not real at all. To say that a thing which does not actually exist is “fueling innovation” in China actually sounds about right. Many things that China is said to be dominating or leading at are also phantasms. A great example is China’s supposed “leading position” in DNA sequencing. Buying a shit ton of sequencing instruments and putting them in gleaming new facilities across the country to show off to westerners is a nice publicity stunt. However, two weeks later 90% of those instruments are under sheets gathering dust as there are not even close to enough capable scientists in the country to run them. Fake it until you make it is a fine enough motto for alcoholics anonymous, but you can’t run a successful country if that is your go to approach. China has come a long way but it has a very long ways yet to go before it can be said to be the equal of the west in the sciences. In technology they are perhaps a bit closer though they still lag. The key difference in my mind is that a full understanding and embrace of the scientific method is not needed to be successful in technology, but it is an absolute must have to make real advances in science. Too many of the Chinese elite still do not embrace or accept that method. Unless/until that changes they will never catch up to the west. There is one area in which they have caught up and perhaps even exceeded the west, and that is in propagating misunderstanding and obfuscation with respect to modern computing and its current capabilities. They have shown tremendous skill and real innovation in that area. Probably because the communist government there has had so much practice at it over the years.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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