(Yicai Global) Sept. 5 -- China's investment in the artificial intelligence technology sector ranks second globally, a new report from major consultancy McKinsey states. However, its development is still in its infancy, with China only accounting for a 17-percent share of total AI funding worldwide.
AI investment has become the subject of fierce competition among the world's leading technology firms, especially in relation to patents and intellectual property. US companies made up for 66% of all AI investments in 2016.
Artificial intelligence technology is mainly applied to robots, unmanned vehicles, chatbots, natural language processing, computer vision and machine learning. It is most extensively applied in the fields of automobiles and assembly, finance, telecommunications and other high-tech sectors, followed by logistics, retailing and media. AI's influence has been relatively lower in the education, health care and tourism industries.
China's AI sector is mainly focused on visual and speech recognition technology, though it remains in the fledgling stage of development. Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU] is the only company in the country to launch its own AI platform so far.