THE FRUITS OF THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION is fast reshaping the world in a magnitude hardly imagined before. They all seem to move out of a mind-boggling science fiction novel. C

Consider the near future of a world marked by a Digital Revolution and powered by AI ( Artificial Intelligence). Imagine these.

Education will be revolutionized by the “internet contact lenses”. By just blinking their eyes, the students can get everything the professor and the books taught without the need to memorize them. Those with photographic memories will no longer have the edge.

The “RoboDoc” will revolutionize the Medical World in that it dispenses (in any language) medical advice when one gets sick. Human doctors will still be there -but they will lean on the advice of “Robodoc”, as well.

Much has been written about the Electric cars operated by A.I. – a situation where the rider can merely input his desired destination at a designated speed-and the owner can just sleep in the car as the “Intellicar” navigates through traffic and finds the right parking. It can also be voice-commanded.

The “BraiNet”” will be able to download and upload all emotions, feelings and sensations and mentally communicate the same to everyone in the room. Makes courtship easier? Maybe. Digitized “BioTech“, meanwhile, enables the production of most parts of the human body including skin, bone, cartilage, nose, ear, bladder, blood vessel, artery, windpipe etc. Seriously, on stream now is the manufacture of a new “liver” which gives hope to Alcoholic Anonymous, for sure.

The “Digitized Economy” will result in “Perfect Capitalism” equalizing the demand and supply equation. The surge in Amazon sales, the AirBnB accommodation operations and the Uber phenomenon are samples of what erased the “middleman” and accorded the consumer direct access to goods and services. This also did away with many unnecessary “bricks and mortars” stores or offices and generally reduced the prices of everything.

A digitized instrument is coming where a consumer can determine the “best product or brand” in a given store- comparing quality, price and even profit margins of the items. The BIR will love


In New York City- a machine-learning process is able to detect which manholes were at risk of exploding “due to degrades and overload electrical circuitry.” The product COMPAS -is now being used by many states in America because it was found good in “predicting whether or not a person will commit another crime.” This made court decisions affecting conviction and granting of parole science-based rather than arbitrary or based on “gut feeling”.


Since this is a potent 21st-century phenomenon that has altered the world in every unimaginable way- it is interesting what Harvard Kennedy School found out as to who between the two major superpowers, namely, China and the USA, will likely rule the Digital World and the use of AI.

The extent of its “transformative impact” on commerce and national security will be best seen in its usage in the military, economy and society.

China “appears” to have the edge for three reasons. (1) It has a larger population base to use and draw information from 1.4 billion Chinese compared to 300 million Americans) today. (2) Data collection favors the Chinese because it is a “controlled state” where citizens’ (willing: not willing to share data) with the China State is a ratio of 5:1 compared to the 50-50 split of Americans divided as to the willing and unwilling to share information.

(3) China is a “centralized state” that decides AI is one of the “existential priorities” in their scheme of things and can dictate its development as a national policy while the USA is too respectful of human rights to privacy and too dependent on the private sector initiative to develop industries like AI.

The battleground is heated up by competition from the faangs ( Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) and the bats ( Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent). Let’s see the discrepancy between the two superpowers.

In Fintech- China’s Tencent WeChatPay has 900 million users to USA’s ApplePay’s 22 million. By sheer population edge, China records 19 trillion in mobile payment compared to USA’s 11 million. Due to respect for privacy, on the other hand, the USA has given up the so-called “facial recognition” technology where the top 5 are of Chinese origins.

In the field of AI-enhanced drones, of the top 5 commercial models, China has three and USA only one. In the area of 5G infrastructure, Chinese firms account for 28 percent of the market share almost equal to the next two top competitors. Of the Top 5 brands: 4 are Chinese while only 1 is American.

Even in hardware manufacturing, China has been dominating. In 2001, China had zero among the world’s top “fastest supercomputers”. In 2020: China had 219 while the USA had only 216 fastest computers. China is also investing in its human capital.

AI sem students number 1.3 million in China compared to only 300,000 Americans.

It has been said that the “quality and the quantity” of data will be the most valuable commodity in the 21st century as was oil was in the 20th. It will define the 21st Century.

How comfortable does one feel that in the field of digitization and AI development, the USA will reportedly have the edge over China only up to the year 2025 and will be upended thereafter and for years to come by the Mighty Chinese Dragon?

Brace yourselves, Western-oriented Filipino folks?

(Bingo Dejaresco, a former banker, is a financial consultant, media practitioner and book author. He is a Life and Media member of Finex. His views here, however, are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of Finex.

Source: Manila Bulletin (