What I Learned This Week

Who will plunder and who will be plundered in the intensifying race to colonize data?

The race to develop artificial intelligence is ratcheting up with China and the U.S. leading the pack. Their head-starts stem from their out-sized data stores—China because of its domestic population; America because of the global reach of its big tech behemoths. The next phase of mass data accumulation is now accelerating—a digital colonization of the world map. It is estimated that over 60% of the world’s total data will be coming from emerging markets within the next few years. Yet, presently, only slightly over 10% of the data generated in these economies—think India, Pakistan, Nigeria—is being crunched. The opportunity is enormous, as are the risks for the smaller countries that will ne…

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