When the world first witnessed the power of OpenAI's conversational bot ChatGPT late last year, one social media post quickly went viral in China, attempting to explain why this artificial intelligence (AI) breakthrough did not happen in the country. The most widely-shared answer, provided by an anonymous author, was that Chinese technology firms were just too short-sighted to bear the cost of long-term investment, choosing instead to rush towards technologies that can be quickly commercialised.
Graphcore, one of the UK’s most valuable tech start-ups, is demanding a “meaningful” portion of the government’s new £900mn supercomputer project uses its chips, as it battles US rivals such as Nvidia. Chief executive Nigel Toon told the Financial Times that Graphcore is writing to UK ministers over the issue, saying a deal is crucial at a time its Silicon Valley investors are pressing the Bristol-based company to consider a move to America and take advantage of generous US semiconductor subsidies.
The tech sector's current boom feels like 2021, but there's a ton of differences between then and now.