Vol. 1 No. 1 (2020): Global Connections
Articles - Capstones

An Exploration of the Nascent AI Race Dynamics Between the United States and China

Published May 15, 2020


This study examines the ongoing competition between China and the United States (US) within the field of artificial intelligence (AI) development and implementation. It further inspects this competition as a potential site of a developing security dilemma between the two states. While the academic literature surrounding the politics of AI focuses primarily upon the military and economic applications of AI, very few have examined it as a site of great power competition between China and the US. Relying upon a content analysis of speeches, governmental policy, and think tank reports, this study aims to inspect three primary elements of AI competition: military applications, economic applications, and its ethical or regulatory consequences. Upon close examination, this study finds that Sino-US competition over AI does not presently constitute a security dilemma, however the nascency of the field and the likelihood of a near-term offensive advantage suggest that one may still be likely to emerge.