MAY 15, 2022

Artificial Intelligence has an immense impact on socio-economic development across the world. Technology holds a wide range of promises in terms of social, security, economic, and environmental. It has the potential to disrupt and bring technological innovation, enabling a high level of learning and problem-solving capabilities. This is why Governments worldwide perceive AI as a key defining technology for economic growth. Since countries look for improving their citizens’ living standards, AI has become constructive to deliver efficiency while ensuring equity, privacy, transparency, and accountability.

The applications of AI have the potential to assist governments, corporations, and individuals to acquire new skills and training, democratize services, design, and deliver faster production times and quicker iteration cycles. They also help lessen energy usage, deliver real-time environmental monitoring, bolster cybersecurity defenses, heighten national output, minimize healthcare inefficiencies, and create new kinds of experiences and interactions for people to connect others around the world.

In order to support the secure and transparent development of artificial intelligence and strengthen their leadership in AI, countries around the world are establishing governmental and intergovernmental strategies and initiatives.

Global AI Policies

Many governments have developed AI frameworks and policies to help prompt economic and technological growth. The frameworks range from the US executive order on AI leadership, India’s National Strategy for AI #AIforAll, and China’s Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” to “AI Made in Germany” and the “Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, among others. These strategies majorly focus on talent and education, research and development, government investment, and collaborations with other countries and regulatory frameworks for the best development and deployment of AI.

United States

In 2019, President Donald Trump emphasized the significance of ensuring American leadership in the development of emerging technologies, including AI, that makes up the Industries of the Future. At the same time, President Trump signed an Executive Order to launch the American AI Initiative. This will focus on the resources of the Federal government to develop AI to enhance the country’s prosperity, increase its national and economic security, and improve the quality of life of the American people. The American AI initiative takes a multipronged approach to stimulate US’s national leadership in AI and includes five key areas of emphasis: Investing in AI R&D; Unleashing AI Resources; Setting AI Governance Standards; Building the AI Workforce; and International Engagement and Protecting America’s AI Advantage. In 2012, VCs funded US$282 million in AI initiatives, which increase to US$5 billion by 2017. And US$8 billion in the following year.


China is making ambitious leaps to lead the world in the development of AI by announcing its July 2017 plan, A Next-Generation Artificial Intelligence Development plan. This involves initiatives and goals for R&D, industrialization, talent development, education and skills acquisition, standard-setting and regulations, ethical norms, and security. It is typically focused on a three-step plan: make China’s AI industry in line with competitors by 2020; reach world-leading in some AI fields by 2025; and become the primary center for AI innovation by 2030. The country has also a national AI strategy and announced plans to invest tens of billions of dollars in AI research and development. Cities like Beijing announced a US$2.1 billion AI-centric technology park and Tianjin which plans to set up a US$16 billion AI fund is also stepping out to the country’s AI development initiatives. By 2030, the Chinese government intends to nurture an AI industry worth 1 trillion RMB, with related industries worth 10 trillion RMB.


In May 2017, Singapore launched a five-year, SGD150 million national program, AI Singapore, to enhance the country’s capabilities in AI. The AI Singapore has comprised three key pillars: AI research – Invest in deep capabilities to catch the next wave of scientific innovations and breakthroughs; AI Technology – Address major challenges that affect Singapore’s economy and society thereby promoting bold ideas and the application of innovative AI technologies; and AI Innovation – Broaden the use and adoption of AI in Singapore and groom local AI talents to support industry growth. The Singapore government, in June 2018, announced three new initiatives on AI governance and ethics.


In 2017, France launched its national AI strategy, “AI for Humanity”, which was developed by mathematician Cédric Villani. A year later, President Emmanuel Macron divulged a €1.5 billion plan to make the country a global leader in AI research, training, and industry at the end of the AI for Humanity Summit in Paris. The plan details how to align France’s resources around talent, an open data ecosystem, research institutions, and the ability to address ethical issues and enhance specific sectors of the country’s economy. The French government is making it a priority to develop AI both nationally and by working broadly with the European Union.

United Kingdom

In April 2018, the UK government issued its national AI strategy, “AI Sector Deal”. The strategy is the part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy, which identified AI and data as one of four “grand challenges” in which the country has the potential to lead the world. AI Sector Deal entails policies to strengthen public and private R&D, invest in STEM education, enhance digital infrastructure, encourage AI talent, and lead the global conversation on data ethics. Major announcements include an investment of over £300 million in the private sector from domestic and foreign technology companies; the expansion of the Alan Turing Institute; the creation of Turing Fellowships; and the launch of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.


Canada is the first country in the world that introduced a CAD25 million national AI strategy, Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, in 2017. For this strategy, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR (Canadian Institute For Advanced Research) which works in close collaboration with Canada’s three national AI Institutes – Amii in Alberta, Mila in Montréal, and Vector Institute in Toronto, as well as universities, hospitals and organizations across the country. The strategy has four goals and objectives: increase the number of AI researchers and graduates, establish three clusters of scientific excellence, develop thought leadership on the economic, ethical, policy, and legal implications of AI, and support the national research community on AI. Canada’s AI strategy is distinct from other strategies because it is primarily a research and talent strategy.


Germany is extremely well-positioned in many areas of AI. Prior to introducing its AI strategy, Germany’s federal cabinet released a paper in July 2018 that delineates the goals of the strategy. In November 2018, Germany released its AI Strategy, “AI Made in Germany”. A year later, in the 2019 federal budget, the Federation has taken the first step, allocating a total of €500 million to reinforce the AI strategy for 2019 and the following years. Up to and including 2025, the Federation aims to provide around €3 billion for the implementation of the Strategy. Germany already has various related policies in place to develop AI. The German government, in partnership with academia and industry actors, focuses on incorporating AI technologies into the country’s export sectors.

United Arab Emirates

In October 2017, the UAE Government launched its AI strategy, “UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI)”. The strategy aims to: achieve the objectives of UAE Centennial 2071; boost government performance at all levels; use an integrated smart digital system that can overcome challenges and provide quick efficient solutions; make the UAE the first in the field of AI investments in various sectors; and create a new vital market with high economic value. UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence is the first initiative of the larger UAE Centennial 2071 Plan and its primary goal is to leverage AI to enhance government performance and efficiency. The AI strategy covers five themes: the formation of the UAE AI Council; workshops, programmes, initiatives, and field visits to government bodies; develop capabilities and skills of all staff operating in the field of technology and organize training courses for government officials; provide all services via AI and the full integration of AI into medical and security services; and launch leadership strategy and issue a government law on the safe use of AI.


As the fastest growing economy with the second largest population in the world, India has a substantial stake in the revolution of AI. In June 2018, the country released its AI strategy, “National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence #AIforAll.” NITI Aayog, the government think tank, identifies five focus areas where AI development could enable both growth and greater inclusion: healthcare, agriculture, education, urban-/smart-city infrastructure, and transportation and mobility. The strategy aims to enhance and empower Indians with the skills to find quality jobs; invest in research and sectors that can maximize economic growth and social impact, and scale Indian-made AI solutions to the rest of the developing world. NITI Aayog also provides over 30 policy recommendations to invest in scientific research, promote re-skilling and training, expedite the adoption of AI across the value chain, and reinforce ethics, privacy, and security in AI.


In 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinz? Abe called for the Japanese government to establish an “Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategy Council”, which formulated the “Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategy” in March 2017. The strategy focuses on fortifying AI development and developing phases and priorities for industrialization including productivity, healthcare, and mobility. In July 2017, the country published Draft AI R&D GUIDELINES for International Discussions in preparation for the Conference toward AI Network Society. In November same year, an AI “boy” was granted residency in Tokyo, Japan. The AI system is a chatbot programmed to perform like a 7-year-old boy named Mirai. And in June 2018, the Japanese government announced that AI would also become an official part of its “integrated innovation strategy.”

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