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Index reflects nation's strength in AI governance

China plays a leading role in the global development of artificial intelligence and has performed well in the area of AI governance, according to the recently published AI Governance International Evaluation Index.

The AGILE Index was initiated by the Center for Long-term Artificial Intelligence and the International Research Center for AI Ethics and Governance under the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Automation.

The evaluation process for the index covered 39 parameters to comprehensively assess AI governance in 14 representative countries, in a bid to depict the current level of AI governance and offer insights for the enhancement of AI governance systems.

The index reveals that China, with a score of 68.5, ranks second overall among the 14 evaluated countries, with the United States heading the table with a score of slightly above 70.

The AGILE Index score demonstrates a positive correlation with the per capita GDP of the evaluated countries. China's scores are significantly higher than its per capita GDP, thanks to its superior quality AI development and effective AI governance.

Although the country demonstrates notable strengths in AI development, it faces challenges in AI infrastructure building, said the report accompanying the index findings.

Among five of eight key indicators such as articles published on AI, professionals, patents granted, AI systems published, top 500 supercomputer FLOPs, co-location data centers, total funding of AI companies and start-ups, China secures the second spot with contributions ranging from 10 percent to 33 percent of the total. China stands close to the United Kingdom in terms of developed AI systems, occupying nearly 10 percent of the total.

However, with only 2.5 percent of the total, China is at ninth place with regard to infrastructure of AI data centers, which conduct massive data processing and enable the development of AI applications at scale.

The total volume of literature on AI governance has increased at a fast clip in recent years, and the growth rate of related publications from China was higher than other countries, the report said.

In 2021, China's proportion of AI governance publications reached 23.1 percent, making it the leader among the 14 countries.

Zeng Yi, director of the International Research Center for AI Ethics and Governance, said the rapid development of AI technology is profoundly transforming human society and raising a series of problems as well.

The widespread application of generative AI, represented by large language models, has ushered in a new stage in AI governance. Effectively governing AI technology has become a common challenge for countries worldwide.

"The design of the AGILE Index echoes the idea of matching governance with development," Zeng said.

The evaluation of the AGILE Index commences with an exploration of four foundational pillars for advancing AI, including the development level, the governance environment, the governance instruments and the governance effectiveness.

It provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of global AI governance, emphasizing the necessity for international cooperation, fair development, and a comprehensive governance framework to address the challenges of AI governance, Zeng said.

Solving the issues related to the development and governance of AI requires global collaboration, as no single country can handle it independently, he emphasized.

China-UK-US collaboration in AI governance stands out as these are also the most active hubs of relevant research, the report said. The collaborations among different countries indicate that AI governance is globally connected and indivisible, it added.

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