Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Ex-Pentagon software chief says China beating US in tech war a ‘done deal’: ‘Kindergarten levels’

China is on track to defeat the United States in the battle over artificial intelligence, the Pentagon’s former software chief said. 

“We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,” Nicolas Chaillan, who resigned from his position in September over the slow pace of technological advancement in the U.S. military, told the Financial Times. “Whether it takes a war or not is kind of anecdotal.”

He added that U.S. cyber defenses in some government departments were at “kindergarten level.”

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China is on track to beat the U.S. on varying technologies, such as AI, in the coming years, which was highlighted in a paper published by Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs last year. Chaillan said a failure to address the issues puts the U.S. at risk. 

He took a softer stance on Twitter saying that the U.S. has not lost the AI battle just yet, but that the country needs to work on the technology immediately, or “we have no fighting chance to win against China in 15 years.”

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“For those who saw this article, I want to clarify one thing. I never said we lost. I said as it stands and if we don’t wake up NOW we have no fighting chance to win against China in 15 years,” he wrote in a tweet. 

He blamed the reluctance of U.S. companies, like Google, to work with the U.S. government on artificial intelligence, as well as ethical debates on the technology that hold up progress. He noted that in China, companies work with Beijing, and were making “massive investment” into AI.

Google told Fox News in a statement that it currently has multiple projects underway with the U.S. government and is committed to continuing its work with the U.S.

“Google is proud to work with the U.S. government, and we have many projects underway today, including with the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the NIH. We are committed to continuing to partner with the U.S. government, including the military, both on specific projects and on broader policy around AI that are consistent with our principles,” a Google Cloud spokesperson told Fox News on Monday. 

Chaillan announced his resignation at the start of September, saying on LinkedIn that, “I realize more clearly than ever before that, in 20 years from now, our children, both in the United States’ and our Allies’, will have no chance competing in a world where China has the drastic advantage of population over the US.”

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“While we wasted time in bureaucracy, our adversaries moved further ahead,” he added in his post regarding his resignation. 

Chaillan told the Financial Times he plans to testify to Congress about the Chinese cyber threat to U.S. supremacy over the coming weeks.

Source

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