That prize is likely to go to the country, or countries, that are making the right strategic investments now. Those investments are focused on equipping their citizens, businesses and institutions with the tools, technology and training needed for AI. And while the world's two largest economies - the United States and China - look likely to dominate the AI race, some smaller nations could start to make an impact on the global AI stage.
These are a diverse group of fast-moving and high-intensity economies that include Singapore, Israel, Ireland and Finland. They lack the scale of larger nations, but often outperform the power players and traditional champions in the intensity of their AI development – whether that's through large average investments per AI company, or consistently producing valuable research.
Sergey Lavrov's comments at the Munich Security Conference came hours after Vice President Mike Pence told the gathering that the U.S. will "hold Russia accountable" even as the Trump administration searches for common ground with Moscow. The annual get-together of diplomats and defense officials has been marked by Western concerns about President Donald Trump's approach to foreign policy and attitude toward Russia.