The People's Republic has revealed plans to spend billions on developing computers that are capable of thinking for themselves.
However, experts believe an AI version of the space race could be disastrous for the world and even lead to the creation of a digital destroyer that ends up wiping out humanity.
Yesterday, China released a "national AI development plan" which committed it to spending $22.15 billion (£17 billion) on AI research by 2020 and $59.07 billion (£45 billion) by 2025.
China wants to square up to Western market leaders including Google and Microsoft, who are racing ahead in the development of smart computers.
"The local and central government are supporting this AI effort," said Rui Yong, chief technology officer at PC maker Lenovo Group.